The MLO Minute: Spring Cleaning for Your Estate Plan
The arrival of spring means longer days, the start of baseball season, warmer weather, and blooming flowers. It is also the time to tackle the household chores and projects that got put off all winter. While checking these items off your to-do list, spring is the perfect time to evaluate your estate plan to ensure that it continues to meet your needs, or to finally set one up. Spring cleaning your estate plan now means that you can head into summer fun and activities with this important task off your to-do list!
Here are some items to consider when spring cleaning your estate plan:
- Have your wishes for the distribution of your estate changed? – You may have a very different idea for distributing your estate now than you did when your documents were initially created.
- How long has it been since your estate planning documents were created? – It’s a good idea to review your documents at least every five years to discuss how changes in the law or tax code impact your estate.
- Have your assets changed? – Changes to your wealth may affect the distribution or tax-planning of your estate.
- What are the personal circumstances of the intended beneficiaries? – Perhaps one of your beneficiaries has special needs or other circumstances where a trust may be appropriate for their share. Conversely, maybe your estate planning documents set up restrictive trusts that you feel may no longer be necessary for the intended beneficiaries.
- Are the individuals chosen as your Executor, Trustee, Guardian, and/or Agent able to fulfill the role? – Perhaps the individuals chosen have aged, moved, or have other circumstances that would prevent them from taking on these important roles. Or perhaps you have children or other individuals who you now feel are capable of being named to these responsibilities.
- Are you considering making any large financial gifts or a donation to a charity? Making large financial gifts may affect the distribution of your estate, or have estate or gift tax consequences.
- Do your beneficiary designations coordinate with your estate plan? You may have completed beneficiary designations for assets such as life insurance, 401(k)s, or IRAs without reviewing your estate plan, or forgotten to update these forms when your prior estate planning documents were completed.
At McAndrews Law Offices, our estate planning attorneys have experience in creating or updating estate plans to fit each client’s personal circumstances. Please contact our office to schedule a meeting with our experienced attorneys to spring clean your estate plan!