New Year’s Resolutions
At Phelps LaClair, we think it’s a perfect time to make some estate planning New Year’s resolutions. The holidays are over and the credit card bills haven’t yet arrived. The pressure is off for now, so it’s the perfect time to better plan for 2020 and beyond. The following are some estate planning essentials that you should ensure are in place when performing an estate plan review.
1. Review your current estate plan.
Life never stands still. People, things and situations are constantly in motion. Is your estate plan still relevant to your current life situation? Marriage, divorce, births, and deaths are only a few of the things that require us to consider how we are managing our estate, and how we need to respond to change in order to accurately reflect the new realities.
2. Review your goals.
Do you still have the same goals that you had when you made your estate plan? Those changes we listed above can challenge the specific goals we set out to achieve. Have your children gone off to college or left home to begin life on their own? A job or housing change, an extended illness, or a catastrophic loss can make us rethink how we want to manage our wealth. Let’s make sure you’re still aiming at the right target.
3. Update your information.
We encourage everyone to review their estate plans at least every three years. We offer our living trust clients a free session when they come in for that review. We make sure that all of your information is up to date, and that any changes in your family, finances and health are accounted for in your plan. If not, we will change your estate plan to accommodate your current situation.
4. Update your assets.
New homes, new investments, inheritances, new business startups or acquisitions are all assets that need to be listed in your estate plan. If you have a revocable trust, we need to make sure it is still properly funded.
5. Update beneficiaries.
Your estate plan needs to reflect your desires concerning ex-spouses (yours or your beneficiaries), adult children and grandchildren, parents, charities, and others who stand to inherit from your estate. A review of beneficiaries can eliminate potential challenges to your estate plan after you pass on.
6. Re-assess long-term care needs.
Let’s face it, none of us are getting younger! Now is a beneficial time to purchase long-term care insurance. A review will help you to know when that time approaches that there are options you can choose from.
Make an estate plan!
If you haven’t done so already, or you are still on the fence considering it, please don’t hesitate. Estate plans are not just for the wealthy. They are for people who want to pass on an inheritance that has lasting value to future generations. Call Phelps LaClair in Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and Scottsdale for a free consultation with no obligation. 2020 is all about vision, so let’s look ahead to see how we can best plan for the future. It’s a great time for an estate plan review.