24 Jan Off
Estate planning is something that encompasses many things. Certain aspects that your estate plan may possibly cover comprise of transferring your assets after you pass away, making plans for end-of-life care or naming of guardians for minor children.
Your estate plan should change right along with your life experiences. Planning annual reviews of your estate documents is the best method to certify that it still meets your goals.
Review Your Beneficiaries
You may want to designate a particular asset(s) in your estate to a desired beneficiary. For instance, you may have your spouse as a beneficiary of your retirement account or life insurance policy. You may have separated, divorced or the spouse may have passed away and now you may want to update the designated beneficiary. If you leave that spouse as the designated beneficiary, they will receive those funds or if they have passed, it will go through probate and waste a large amount of your hard earned money that could have been designated to a child, niece/nephew or charity. Sometimes leaving all assets to a trust with a formula clause avoids having to constantly review and change beneficiaries based on change in asset values/deaths.
Take some time to review your beneficiary designations.
Revise Your Will or Trust
If you have purchased or received new assets during the year, for instance, artwork, real estate, collectables, or sold assets, your Estate Planning documents must reflect these changes.
Take some time to review your choice of Trustee(s).
Update Power of Attorney Documents
A Power of Attorney grants another person the ability to act on your behalf. For example:-
- A Medical Power of Attorney gives your representative the authority to make medical decisions for you, in case you are unconscious or temporarily incapacitated.
- A Durable Financial Power of Attorney is used in situations where you become mentally incompetent as a result of injury or illness and you want someone to handle financial matters without the expense and delay of a guardianship.
At the year end, reviewing your Power of Attorney documents is a smart decision. You must review your choice of agent or representative for each one to ensure that they are still an appropriate choice.
Talk With Loved Ones Regarding Long-Term Care
Future illness and accidents are unpredictable. Research has shown that one out of two people will require some sort of long-term health care during their lifetime. The average cost of nursing home fees start at approximately $120,000.00 a year in WI. Want to protect your estate from forced spenddown for these costs? We can discuss your options at no charge.
Get Help from An Estate Planning Attorney
As an Estate Planning Attorney, I can carefully assess your assets and determine an effective strategy that can meet your needs. Detailed estate planning, with my help, can save you thousands of dollars in probate fees and protect your estate if a disability happens. Apart from determining how your estate will be divided, estate planning can give you peace of mind that your wishes are met and you don’t go broke due to care related costs.
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