We know that you are always looking for ways to protect your family and loved ones. Here are six steps to take this year to help make sure that your estate plan protects you and yours:
1. Update Your Beneficiaries
Take about 15 minutes to check the beneficiary designations of your financial accounts: life insurance policies, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and bank accounts. Are the beneficiaries for these accounts up-to-date? If you’ve changed your mind, or if anyone has changed their name, now is the time to update these.
2. Adjust Your Life Insurance Policy
If you have life insurance, check with your insurance agent to make sure that it is just right: enough to protect your loved ones, but not excessive. For example, you might be able to reduce the amount once your children become adults and can support themselves. If you’re not sure where to start, see our blog post on how well-chosen life insurance fits into a comprehensive estate plan.
3. Check In With Your Medical Power of Attorney
Your health is a precious thing, and the state of your health can change unexpectedly. Your medical power of attorney should be a person who you trust and who knows your wishes, should you become incapacitated and cannot make healthcare decisions for yourself. This is the time to make any changes to the person you have designated and to make sure that they know your wishes.
4. Reach Out To Your Estate Planning Attorney
If you already have an estate plan, contact your estate planning attorney to ask if you need to create any new documents, make changes, or update your current estate plan. Certain life events, like marriage, divorce, adding a child to your family, and starting a business will definitely affect your estate plan.
5. Consider A Trust
If you have a will-based estate plan, consider upgrading to a trust-based estate plan. A smart trust-based plan may be the best way to protect your loved ones and your legacy, long after you’re gone. If you’d like to learn more, read our blog posts on the important differences between wills and trusts and how to avoid probate by creating and funding a trust.
6. Automate Your Annual Estate Planning Checkup
If you haven’t already enrolled in JM Law CARES, consider doing so. JM Law CARES, our client estate and legacy planning maintenance program, is the best way to help make sure that your estate plan is always up-to-date and addresses the changes in estate and tax laws and regulations, your health, and your family dynamics. Find out more about JM Law CARES on our website, or email us at CARES@jmlegacyplanning.com.
If you have questions, contact us to set up a consultation. We’re here to help.
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Disclaimer: Materials prepared by JM LAW, PLLC are for general informational purposes only. Educational material does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not an offer to represent you. You should not act or refrain from acting based on information provided.