As 2018 comes to an end, it is a good idea to review your estate plan to make sure that it is up to date. This is also a good time to check some of the important details about your estate planning documents. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you ensure that all your future plans are in order.
Determine if You Have a Disability Plan
It is critical to have documents in your estate plan to determine what happens in case you lose your mental or physical abilities. A Health Care Power of Attorney document is just one tool which helps to appoint a person to make medical decisions in case you are no longer able to make medical decisions for yourself.
Examine Your Beneficiary Designations
While they are important, beneficiary designations are often overlooked. These designations determine who will receive your assets after your death. Despite the numerous changes that can occur including divorce and marriage, these designations will remain the same despite the numerous changes that can occur. To avoid running into difficulties, it is best to review your beneficiary designations to make sure that these elections properly reflect your current goals.
Inventory Your Assets
If you acquired anything valuable during the year, update your estate planning document to reflect these changes. You also might need to revise an estate plan to reflect anything that you sold or got rid of during the year. You might also need to do the same if you create a living trust for your assets. While revising your will, it is important to remember to properly select an executor or trustee who can properly handle your estate.
Making Gifts That are Not Gifts
As the year comes to a conclusion, it is a wise idea to avoid the federal gift tax by making annual exclusion gifts, educational gifts, and medical payment gifts. People who are married are capable of taking advantage of the annual exclusion and gifts of $28,000. People who fail to follow the exclusion rules risk having their payments be considered a gift, which can result in additional tax complications.
Taking Life Changes into Consideration
It is not wise to assume that state laws will protect your estate plans if there have been substantial changes in your life. These changes can include things like getting married, divorced, and experiencing deaths and births in the family. Each of these changes is a good reason to consider updating your estate plan to make sure that it reflects your goals.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer
As you prepare your estate plan for the following year, it is common to encounter questions or obstacles that make the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer helpful. Contact attorney Jim Lyon today to schedule a free consultation. Attorney Lyon has helped numerous people with estate plans and knows what it takes to make sure that all elements are fully taken into consideration in your end-of-life planning.