Time to Update Your Estate Plan?
If it’s been a while since you’ve been in to see your estate planning professional about your estate plan, there are a few things that you’ll want to consider in reviewing your plan. The following is a year end checklist of items for your review.
Courtesy of Geiger Law Office, Carlsbad, CA.
1. Have you purchased or sold a home in the last 1-5 years?
2. Have you purchased any rental property?
3. Have you re-financed the mortgage on your home?
4. Have there been any changes in your family since your last review? Births, deaths, divorce, marriage, reconciliations, or estrangements?
5. Has there been a significant change in your health status since our last meeting?
6. Do you have any unmarried children that have left for college in the last year or two?
7. Have you inherited any assets since your last review?
8. Have you had any significant changes in your financial status since your last review?
9. Are there any changes to the list of people who we are authorized to talk to about your estate plan?
10. Have you opened any new accounts, such as bank accounts or brokerage, since your last estate plan review?
11. Have you opened any new IRAs or other retirement accounts or transferred retirement accounts to a new custodian since your last review?
12. Have you had any threats of lawsuits or legal judgments against you that have arisen since your last review?
13. Are all relevant assets properly funded into your revocable trust?
14. If you have a joint trust, do you have the right marital estate plan in place? A Clayton election plan may be more advantageous for you instead of an A/B trust due to more recent estate tax law changes.
15. Has it been over 4 years since you last executed your POA and Advance Health Care Directive?
16. Do you have any children that have been born since your last estate plan update that need to be added to your trust, will and guardianship nomination?
17. Have you started a business since your last estate plan review?
18. Did you update the beneficiary designation form on all of your life insurance policies to list your trust as either the primary or contingent beneficiary?
19. Do you have an aging parent or loved one that you fear may lose their home and/or run out of money paying for a long term care nursing home stay now or in the future?
20. Do you and your spouse have more than $1MM in life insurance?
21. Do you have over $500,000 in retirement accounts?
22. Do you have new pets that have joined your family? Have you planned for who will take them or for your existing pets should something happen to you?
23. Have you completed your personal property memorandum to leave certain important personal items to certain people?
24. Does your current trust protect your children or other beneficiaries from a divorcing spouse, a lawsuit, bankruptcy, or other predatory creditors?
25. Do you want to update who your successor Trustees are at incapacity or death? Or who your health care power of attorney agents are or who your financial power of attorney agents are?
26. Have you exercised any stock options recently? Or have your stock options now vested?
If any of these questions triggered you to either wonder if you need an update or you know you need an update, please contact your estate planning attorney.