I recently met with a client to discuss a new will and other planning documents, including a living will and power of attorney. The client asked me if I could set a task to remind him on an annual basis of the need to review his documents so that they could be updated as his life circumstances change. He admitted that without the reminder, he might not make the changes that he is already contemplating due to the payoff of certain debts in the future. I readily agreed to set my follow up system to personally contact him on an annual basis as he requested.
Although we are one and a half months into 2014, perhaps it is time for you to review your estate planning to see if it meets your current needs. The New Year is a time when we traditionally set goals or make a “New Year’s Resolution”. Perhaps, now is the time to set some financial goals or to take action to better your financial situation.
Here are some recommended actions that you can take to review your current estate planning:
- Review your current Will or Trust
- Review your Durable Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
- Review your Living Will
- Review your Insurance policies and Retirement Plans (IRA, 401k, 403b) to update your designated beneficiaries
- Review all deeds to real property to determine ownership and beneficiary designations, if any
- Review titles to autos and boats to determine ownership
- Review ownership on all Bank and Brokerage accounts
- Schedule an Appointment with an Attorney
- Schedule an Appointment with your financial planner, if you have one
Your attorney or financial planner may be able to alert you to any changes in the law that may have occurred since you last created your planning documents. Also your review should examine if there have been any changes in your family (births, deaths, marriages, divorces, etc.) that may impact your planning decisions.