Another year has passed and a 2015 is already here. And with a new year comes many resolutions. Estate planning is one thing that most people fail to think about during their planning for the New Year. Below are three estate planning resolutions you should consider:
- Stay organized. By the time most of us reach mid-life, we will have accumulated a variety of assets – both big and small. Stocks, bonds, 401(k)s, IRAs and stray insurance policies can pile up and create an unmanageable mountain of documents. We may even forget about some of our financial accounts or smaller assets. Get organized to avoid misplacing or forgetting about your assets. Stay organized by creating a file for every asset you own, and make a habit of keeping a record of each asset as you acquire it.
- Review beneficiaries. Take a look at your asset records and keep your beneficiary information up-to-date. If you recently divorced, you may want to replace your former spouse with another beneficiary of your choice. If you’ve had a child during the past year, you may want to designate your son or daughter as a beneficiary on life insurance policies, annuities or other financial assets. Be sure to speak with an estate planning professional about the tax consequences and legal implications beneficiary designations.
- Create a Last Will and Testament. For many people, just the thought of creating a Will can seem overwhelming. The process of creating a Will doesn’t have to be complex. You can begin by making a list that details how you want your most important assets divided after you are gone. An experienced estate planning professional can help you to understand the process of creating a Last Will and Testament and how your wishes are followed after you are gone.
Estate planning is an important process and it is valuable to you and your loved ones. But it can’t be done in a day. Make a New Year’s resolution – begin to create your estate plan today, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
I’ve had the great pleasure of helping my clients to make a plan that suits their needs and accomplishes their goals – Estate Planning is essential. If you have questions on where to begin, I’d be happy to speak with you.