Why the New Year is a great time to update your estate planning documents

We are now 12 days into 2015! I hope it’s going well for you and you’re sticking to those resolutions!

Happy-New-Year-with-stars-2015The beginning of the year is the best time to update your estate plan. However, you should not only think about the assets and property involved but also the people involved. Carefully consider your beneficiaries, trustees and agents whom you have entrusted to care for your assets, property and loved ones.

So what exactly should you be looking for as you update your estate planning documents? Following are some possible events and circumstances that might require changes in your will or other estate planning documents:

1.   Marriage. Did you, your child or another family member named in your documents get married?

2.   Divorce. Did you, your child or another family member named in your documents get divorced?

3.   Birth or adoption of a child, grandchild, etc. Did you, your child, or someone else give birth or adopt a child that you would like included in your estate planning? Do you have to name a guardian for your children in case of your death?

4.   Child has reached the age of majority. Has a child named in your estate planning documents turned 18 or otherwise reached a milestone set in your estate plan?

5.   Death or serious illness. Has someone named in your estate plan died or fallen seriously ill, especially if it’s someone who has been named as your executor, power of attorney or trustee?

6.   Changes in relationships with people, pets or organizations. Do you have a new relationship with someone or an organization you would like to include in your planning? Alternately, have you severed any such relationships?

7.   Purchase or sale of major assets. Have you bought or sold a house, opened or closed a business, etc.?

8.   New insurance policies or pension plans. Have you acquired new insurance policies or pension plans that require adjustment of beneficiaries in your estate plan? Have you reached the age at which you are required to take distributions from a pension plan?

9.   Change of your state of residence. Have you moved and inadvertently made part of your estate plan invalid?

10. Tax law changes. Are there new or different provisions in the tax law that affects your estate distribution plan?

And of course if you don’t have any estate plan in place or are missing a few of the essential documents, now is also a great time to set that up. You can read my post on  Top 4 (MUST HAVE) Estate Planning Documents to have on the blog.

Likewise, if you’re ready to schedule an appointment with me, give the office a call at (650) 503-3770 or send me an email at carmen  (at) carmenrosaslaw (dot) com. You can also visit the Contact Page!

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