Now that we are in the second month of the new year, many people have already forgotten about their new year’s resolutions. Daily trips to the gym have subsided and sticking with the healthy diet did not quite last once Super Bowl Sunday rolled around, but there is one resolution that everyone can easily keep each year – reviewing their estate plan.
Less than half of Americans have an estate plan. Of the half that do have an estate plan, many have outdated documents which name ex-spouses as beneficiaries, unintentionally leave out a child, or contain provisions from a state that they are no longer residents of. The beginning of a new year is a great time to review your current estate plan to make sure it meets your needs or establish a new estate plan if you have been putting it off!
When reviewing or establishing an estate plan with your attorney, it is important to make sure you are protected from all angles. The essential estate planning documents include: Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, Last Will & Testament, and Revocable Trust. More complex estate planning documents can be drafted in conjunction with the essential estate planning documents to create a plan for individuals who have estate planning needs that are more specialized, including Special Needs Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Designations of Pre-Need Guardian.
In my upcoming blog posts, I will delve into more detail on each of the essential estate planning documents and how they can protect you and your family both during your lifetime and after you pass away.