There is no better time than the beginning of a new year to pull out your “shelved” estate plan and review it. Maybe quite a few years have now passed since you signed all of those documents and the plan you memorialized in your Wills and Trusts may no longer make sense or address taking care of your family in the way you now would desire. Since tax laws are constantly changing, significant changes may have occurred affecting wealth transfer prior to and upon death so that those old documents no longer allow for the desired result. In many cases, people you have named as fiduciaries may now not be the preferred persons or perhaps your then minor children are now adults and should be included in roles they were not previously ready to take on. Besides an update on your previously executed Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney, reviewing your designated beneficiaries on all of your assets, if possible, is also a good idea. The primary focus of a contemporary estate plan deals with “probate avoidance” and making sure that you are properly using your option to designate direct beneficiaries in conjunction with the use of trusts (if a trust has been included in your plan).
What if you don’t currently have an estate plan in place because you did not think you needed one or perhaps just never got around to it? Then make 2019 the year you revisit that issue and do something about it! The attorneys at Thomas Law Group take a holistic approach to estate planning and work with you and your other advisers to evaluate and recommend a plan that best suits your needs and those of your family. Please call us to discuss your estate planning needs.