A new year is an exciting time for any family, with plenty of resolutions and goals to look forward to as you work toward an even better future. This makes it the perfect moment to examine and assess your family’s estate plan. Here are a few ideas for getting 2019 started on the right foot.
Take Note of New Conditions & Circumstances
One of your first priorities for the new year should be to take stock of any notable changes that have arisen within your family, your finances, the structure of your business, or other parts of your life. Have you re-married or divorced? Has there been a significant increase in your wealth? Has a relative passed away, a child been born, or a loved one encountered a significant health issue? It’s wise to think of your estate plan as an intersection of these and countless other factors. Accordingly, you should work with a family estate office to take them into consideration and reassess the components of your plan that they affect.
Review Major Documents & Key People
Depending on what new developments you, your family, or your business have recently come across, revision of legal documents may be needed. Whether it’s a last will, a living will, or the paperwork for a trust, there are many to keep in mind. The same goes for key people named in the various documents of your estate. To whom have you given power of attorney? Who have you named as an executor, guardian, or healthcare proxy? Who are your beneficiaries? If any new circumstances have affected the provisions of your documents or the status of key people, estate planning specialists will be able to guide you through any necessary changes.
Evaluate Your Living Trust & Life Insurance
It’s common to supplement a will with a revocable living trust in order to shield assets from certain creditors and risk factors, but a trust is only useful if you fund it properly. Review its status and make sure you’ve retitled property and renamed beneficiary designations as required, otherwise that property will not be protected. You may also have one or more life insurance policies in place to provide security for surviving relatives or as an asset protection strategy. The estate planners at your preferred family office will be able to recognize any developments that affect these policies and help you revise them accordingly.
What goals do you have for 2019? If you want to maximize your wealth, strengthen your legacy, and bring your family closer together, we’re here to help. To learn more about our estate planning and other services, call our family office at 1 (833) 266-6464 for a free consultation.