The end of the year will be here before we know it. To help you get ahead of the curve, we’ve created a checklist of top-priority items to address before the year comes to a close. This list will help you save money on taxes, protect your loved ones, and comply with government rules and regulations.

  1. Revisit your estate plan. 

Laws and regulations change. Life changes. You may change your mind about your beneficiaries or need to add beneficiaries or assets to your estate plan. For a list of life events that affect your estate plan, see our estate planning essentials blog post that outlines what your JM LAW attorney will discuss with you in an annual review. 

If you’re a JM LAW CARES member, you know just how important it is to revisit your estate plan each year. If you’re not already a member, reach out to us to find out more about the benefits of membership in our JM LAW CARES client estate and legacy planning maintenance program. 

  1. Check your contributions to your 401(k).

Have you maximized your contributions and employer matching? If not, this is the perfect time to talk to your wealth advisor and accountant about what to do to optimize the benefits for you and your loved ones. 

  1. Reap the benefits of your FSA and HSA.

Be sure to spend what’s in your flexible spending account (FSA) before year-end so that you don’t lose the funds. Those eligible to contribute to a health savings account (HSA) need to plan for contributions before tax time, too. 

  1. Decide on any financial gifts to loved ones.

As of 2023, you can give up to $17,000 per person each year, to as many people as you’d like, without paying gift taxes—as long as you stay under the lifetime gift tax exclusion. You may also pay for qualified medical care and education costs. Before giving money or paying for medical care or education, though, consult with your wealth advisor and accountant to make sure that you comply with all laws and regulations and that you know the tax consequences of any gifts.

  1. Consider giving to charity.

While tax laws have changed, there are still many opportunities to pay fewer taxes while giving to causes that are important to you. Talk to your wealth advisor about giving appreciated securities, contributing to a donor-advised fund, or giving a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA.

  1. Take your required minimum distribution.

If you’re age 73 or older or have an inherited IRA, it’s important to make sure that you take any required minimum distribution on time. Please pay particular attention to this one, as the penalties for failing to do so can be onerous. 

  1. Think about converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. 

There have been many changes in the rules governing retirement accounts and inherited retirement accounts. Consult with your wealth advisor to see if converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA would benefit you.

  1. Look at your taxable investments.

Talk to your wealth advisor and accountant about whether to realize a loss this year to lower the amount of taxes you’ll need to pay.

  1. Reconsider insurance.

Now is the perfect time to look at your home and other assets to see if you need to update your insurance coverage. 

We’re here to help you plan for a more secure future for yourself and your loved ones. Contact us to set up an annual review of your estate plan. We’ll discuss any changes and recommend any refinements needed to your estate and legacy plan.

If you’re a JM LAW client, you’re eligible for membership in our JM LAW CARES estate and legacy planning maintenance program. We created this program specifically to help you proactively adapt your plan to changes in estate and tax laws and regulations. To find out more, see our overview of the JM LAW CARES program.

This post was created by Jessica Marchegiano, founder of JM LAW and senior estate planning attorney.

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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.

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