More than 120 million Americans do not have proper estate plans in place.
An estate plan, properly executed, can protect you as well as your family in the event of sickness, accidents or untimely death. With just a little advance planning, you can help your family avoid wasted dollars and unnecessary hardship.
If you do have an estate plan in place, it should be reviewed on a regular basis. Congress, state legislatures and the courts are constantly changing the estate-planning rulebook. An out-of-date estate plan may cost your family dearly in extra taxes and administration costs.
Do you have an estate plan in place? Is it covering all your bases? Consider this checklist:
- Do you have a will or trust in place? If so, has it been professionally reviewed within the last two years?
- Does your health care power of attorney permit the person of your choosing (spouse, child, family) to make emergency health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so?
- Does your current estate plan minimize possible state and federal estate taxes at your death, including taxes on your house, life insurance and IRAs?
- Have you taken steps to avoid possible will contests and disputes during the administration of your estate?
- Are you satisfied with the persons you’ve named as executors of your will, trustees of your trust or guardians for your minor children?
- Does your current estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection for property that will pass to your spouse or children?
If you have a living trust in place as part of your estate plan, is your trust fully funded? Can you identify what property is “in the trust”?
- Does your estate plan protect your children’s inheritance if your spouse remarries after you pass away?
If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, it is time to update or revise your estate plan. Please contact our office at 678-319-0100.