Review Your Estate Plan Every Year
The Law Office of Dana L. White recommends that everyone perform an annual ‘Estate Plan Update.’ While you may have a Will, a General Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Healthcare Directive and Transfer on Death Deed, you should continue to review and update your plan every year as life, goals, and relationships inevitably change.
We urge you to review the following every year:
Beneficiaries of Non-Probate Assets - Review and update ‘beneficiary designations’ for each of your accounts which fall outside of your Will, including life insurance policies, retirement plans, individual retirement accounts, bank/savings accounts, and annuities.
Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) - Have you purchased a new home or other real property? If so, you should consider executing a TODD, allowing you to automatically transfer your real property to your beneficiary, upon your death, without the necessity of probating a Will.
Information for Executors/Agents - Update memorandums and inventory to keep your assets organized and accessible. Update any new accounts, passwords, bank account numbers, insurance policies, etc. Ensure your Executor can gain access to your original Will.
Executors/Agents/Trustee’s/Guardians – Consider if changes are needed regarding your representatives. Have any agents passed away, become ill, disabled, incapacitated, or have they had other change in circumstances?
Beneficiaries - Does your Will/Revocable Living Trust continue to reflect your wishes regarding your beneficiaries, including how/when your assets will be distributed? Have you married/divorced? Do you have any new children/ grandchildren?
Revocable Living Trust - If you have a Living Trust, you should regularly verify that you have titled all your assets in the trust’s name. If you miss retitling assets, your trust will not be effective at your passing. Sadly, many people frequently forget to do this when acquiring new assets!
Trustee Designation - Does your Will/Trust provide the precise timing of distribution to your beneficiaries? Are your beneficiaries ready to control their inheritance or is a Trustee needed to manage it until they are older?
Agent’s Access to Financial Institutions – If you become incapacitated or disabled, ensure your agent has the proper credentials to gain access to your accounts. Check your institutions’ policies for giving your agent access to such accounts.
Reviewing your plan at regular intervals helps ensure that your legacy is passed on in accordance with your wishes.
If you would like to schedule a consult with our office to ‘protect what matters most,’ please call 817.917.8121.
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