Not updating your estate planning is a risky move.
Reviewing your estate plan is important.
Other mistakes you can fix afterward.
Once you are dead, you are dead.
There is no changing what you have recorded.
According to a recent Newsday article titled “Make sure your estate plan keeps up with life changes, experts say,” you should make your estate plan a priority.
Estate planning is not only for the Rockefellers of the world.
It involves many aspects of your finances and health care.
Your estate plan provides guidance regarding where assets will be distributed when you die and who has the authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
Your loved ones will be grieving when you die.
Make things as organized and straightforward as possible. That way they will be able to mourn without the stress of deciphering your estate.
Keep your estate planning documents safe and let your loved ones and executor know their location.
Already have an estate plan?
This does not mean you are off the hook.
You need to update beneficiaries when your life circumstances change, as well as the life circumstances of your loved ones.
You will need to update your life insurance policies and retirement accounts separate from your will or trust.
Your beneficiary designations take legal precedence over the terms of your will or trust.
Do not create or review your estate plan alone.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
He or she will be able to create a plan to meet your needs now, as well as provide advice when changes in the law or family circumstances affect your estate plan later.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Newsday (March 4, 2018) “Make sure your estate plan keeps up with life changes, experts say”