estate planning new year's resolutions - woman holding sparkler

2021-12-21

Your 2022 New Year’s Resolution: Estate Planning

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Happy New Year! Here at Phelps LaClair, we love this time of year. It’s a great time to reflect on the past year and the perfect time to set aspirations for the year ahead. Were you able to achieve the goals you set for yourself last December? Although diet and exercise usually top most people’s resolutions, we think you should add some estate planning New Year’s resolutions as well. 

Six Estate Planning Resolutions for 2022

Resolution 1: Make a Living Will

A living will is an important part of an estate plan, but not everyone takes the time to set one up. We know that thinking about end-of-life circumstances is not a pleasant experience. However, it is important to make sure your loved ones will follow your decisions when the time comes. A living will communicates your wishes and gives your loved ones peace of mind to know they are doing what you would want.  

Resolution 2: Establish a Power of Attorney (POA)

The new year is a great time to think about who you would want to make your POA and set it up for your estate. If something happens during your lifetime that inhibits you from making decisions for yourself, the person you designate with your power of attorney can step in and make decisions for you. This person is legally bound to make financial, healthcare, and other estate decisions on your behalf.  

Resolution 3: Review Your Beneficiaries and Assets

Another excellent estate planning resolution for 2022 is to evaluate your current list of beneficiaries and assets. Do you need to add any newly born children or grandchildren to your beneficiaries? Have you added or sold any assets like a home, a business, or a vehicle? Keeping this information updated and current in your estate is very important. 

Resolution 4: Organize Your Digital Information

Nowadays people handle almost all of their financial transactions through websites and apps. Chances are good you don’t have all your various usernames and passwords collected in one safe place. Recording and securing your passwords could be very important if something happens to you and those in charge of your estate need that information. A qualified estate planner can provide tips and advice on how and where to safely store this sensitive personal information. 

Resolution 5: Review Your Estate Plan with Your Loved Ones

The best way to find out if your estate plan is complete is to discuss it with your loved ones. Go through each aspect of your estate plan with your POA and beneficiaries to make sure everything is there and they fully understand how it all will work. This discussion also gives them a chance to make a list of questions for your estate planning attorney to answer. 

Resolution 6: Make an Estate Plan If You Don’t Already Have One

If you have yet to create your estate plan, the new year is the perfect time to do so. An estate plan takes full inventory of all your finances, assets, medical preferences, and retirement information. Creating a customized estate plan and making it easily accessible to your power of attorney and/or beneficiaries will ensure that your wishes are met when the time comes.

Set Your Estate Planning New Year’s Resolutions

If you have not yet created an estate plan, there’s no time like 2022! Making an estate plan is very important, but so is keeping it updated throughout your life. We hope that our list of estate planning New Year’s resolutions inspires you to take the time to fully review your estate plan so you can make updates and fill in any gaps. Contact Phelps LaClair at 480-892-2488 for professional help with your 2022 estate plan. 

Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

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