Ideally, every working adult should have an estate plan. The typical assumption is that a “Will” is enough to ensure that the wealth of an individual is distributed according to their wishes upon their death. While that’s true, a well-rounded plan should include every aspect, and you should also review your estate planning documents every few years. Professionals from firms like GLP Financial can offer the assistance you need, and we have the pointers you must remember when assessing the estate plan.
- Ensure you have powers of attorney. What happens when you are unwell and unable to handle your affairs? You can have powers of attorney, which are part of a comprehensive estate plan, which allows you to select someone who can make financial or health decisions for you when you are incapacitated or cannot make decisions. You can have separate documents.
- Consider the need for changes. Life changes and evolves, and you may need to change your executors, trustees, beneficiaries, and guardians on the documents. For instance, the trustee in charge of your trust may not be alive anymore. These modifications should be considered.
- Check the need for updates to addendums: More often than not, people take addendums for granted. Ensure you check these details, and your estate planning lawyer will guide you at every step.
- Review your current living situation. If you have moved between states, you must check your estate plan again to make changes, as states have different laws. Consult a local attorney who can guide you on the legal differences and required amendments.
- Review whether you need an irrevocable life insurance trust. The tool was initially designed to keep life insurance out of a taxable state, but thresholds have changed, and it may not be necessary to move assets anymore.
- Reconsider the family situation. Do you have a blended family? How have the dynamics transformed over the years? What happens if you want to disinherit a child from your previous spouse? The family situation may not be the same, and you must consider that.
- Evaluate how your estate is being watched. Do your heirs and estate planning lawyers know everything relevant to your plan? If not, you may have to find ways to share information with the right parties to avoid future hassles.
Call an estate planning lawyer before you decide to alter things, and ask questions about the process. Never sign a document related to the estate until you understand everything.