5 Steps to Spring Clean Your Estate Planning Portfolio
By Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
I tell my clients often that estate planning documents are living documents. They are not just one and done. If you have a major life change such as marriage, divorce, death, or birth, you should review your documents.
For best results, you should review your documents every year. Here are 5 steps to spring clean your estate planning portfolio and make sure you have everything in order for your loved ones.
(1) Make Sure You Have an Estate Plan
If you don’t have a plan in place, there’s no better time than Spring to get one done. When you die or have an accident that leaves you in a position where you can’t make decisions for yourself, the Court will decide for you. Going to Court costs a lot of money and a lot of time.
Every adult should have a minimum of a Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Directive for Healthcare and a Will or Trust. Book online with us here to get your plan started.
(2) Review Your Durable Power of Attorney and Will or Trust
When life changes happen, review your documents. Another important time to review documents is when you move. If you plan on staying in your new state for a while, you need to make sure your current documents are valid in your state and that your plan covers all of your new assets.
(3) Watch for Major Financial Changes
Have you purchased an investment property? Did you lose a job or have a major career change? Have you bought a vacation home?
When you have changes in your life that impact your estate positively or negatively, you should review your estate plan. You want to make sure your wishes are updated and your assets are titled properly.
(4) Ensure Your Assets Are Properly Titled
Have you changed the title on your bank accounts to your trust? If you don’t have a trust, have you named a payable on death beneficiary? Have you added your spouse/partner to your accounts?
Make sure your assets are titled the right way to achieve your estate planning goals.
(5) Review Your Beneficiaries
Retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, and even bank accounts allow you to name a beneficiary to inherit the account when you die. The benefit of naming beneficiaries is that the asset will pass outside of probate and save your family a lot of time and money in court.
But, if you don’t update your beneficiaries on your assets and your beneficiary predeceases you, you lose the benefit of naming a beneficiary. If your beneficiary predeceases you and you don’t update the account, your family will have to go through the probate court to transfer the asset.
Periodic reviews of your estate planning documents allow you to make sure your wishes will be followed and you have everything you need. For help reviewing your plan to make sure it still fits your needs, contact us.