Does Your Estate Plan Need a Checkup?
When we are planning for the future, having a plan in place is imperative. Setting up your strategic estate plan is a great first step, but it is also important to regularly update your plan. As years pass, situations and circumstances may change our thoughts on certain decisions. We are not the same individuals that we were ten years ago, five years ago, or even last week. We are in a constant state of learning and growing, so it is good to update your documents to reflect that. When was the last time you looked through your estate plan and made sure it was up to date? Phelps LaClair is excellent at providing strategic estate plans that utilize your living trusts in order to protect your assets, and we are passionate about regular checkups for your plan.
How Often to Update
It can be difficult to know how often to go over your estate plan. Is it something you have to read through monthly, bimonthly or yearly? No. We believe that updating your plan should happen about every two years, or upon circumstances changing with your trustee or a major change in assets (getting a new car or home, for example).
Questions to Ask
There are certain questions you can ask yourself in order to determine if you need to update your plan:
- Do you have a will or trust in place? If so, has it been professionally reviewed within the last two years?
- Are you satisfied with the persons you’ve named as guardians of your minor children?
- Are you fully funding your trust to avoid probate, if you have a revocable living trust?
- Does your current health care power of attorney permit the person of your choosing to make emergency health care decisions for you upon incapacitation?
- Does your current estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection for assets passed to your surviving spouse and/or children?
- Does your estate plan protect your children’s inheritance in the event your surviving spouse chooses to remarry?
- Have you taken steps to avoid probate disputes over your estate?
- Will your current estate plan minimize possible state and federal estate taxes at your death, including taxes on your house, life insurance and IRAs?
While there are many questions to ask yourself in regards to your estate plan, if you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of the above questions, contact Phelps LaClair today. We are here to help ensure that all your assets are fully protected for you and your loved ones.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/03/2017) Bill Wilson (Flickr)