Your personal New Year’s resolutions may still be in full swing, or they may have disappeared a few weeks ago. Either way, your estate planning resolutions should still be on your mind if your goal is to protect your family and your assets.
Why you should evaluate your estate plan
The new year is the perfect time to evaluate your estate plan to ensure it is right for you and your family. Every estate plan is different and should be tailored to fit your unique situation. However, it is important to ask yourself the following questions when reviewing your estate plan this year:
Is your will up-to-date? Your will should reflect how you want your assets distributed and who will become guardians of your children. It is important to review and update your will as necessary to make sure any special issues are addressed, such as after acquiring more assets or property or if the needs of your children have changed or if the named guardians are no longer a good fit.
Has your family changed where individuals should be added or removed from your will or trust? Remember to update your will, trust and other documents, including beneficiaries, as your family changes. This means after a wedding, divorce, birth of a child or death of a loved one. It is important to make sure these names are updated accordingly to prevent disputes and outdated information in your estate plan.
Did you change jobs? A job change may result in financial changes that should be addressed in your estate plan. You should also review and update your beneficiary designations to make sure the right people are listed.
Has your health changed? If your health or the health of a loved one has changed, you need to review and update your estate accordingly. Do not forget to consider how health changes can impact guardianship designations along with financial considerations for you and your family.
Have your finances significantly changed? Your financial goals play a big role in your estate plan. As your finances change, it is vital to make sure your estate plan properly protects your assets.
Your estate plan is tailored to your specific situation. Consider these questions and any other changes that have occurred during the last year to help you better protect your family. All changes should be discussed with your attorney to make sure it continues to benefit you and your loved ones as well as your financial goals.