As one year ends and the new one beckons, it is time for your annual estate planning check-up!
This is a good time to make sure your estate plan reflects the events in your life, those both within and beyond your control.
- Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way. A Will says how you want your assets distributed upon your death. But, don’t just put your will in the safe or drawer and then forget about it. Review your Will and determine if any changes are needed because of changed family circumstances; for example, is the person you named to be your Personal Representative or guardian still the right one for the job? Or, maybe one of your children has a problem handling money – should his or her money be held in trust rather than given outright?
- Consider a Living Trust. Like a Will, a living trust provides for the distribution of your assets when you die. But, unlike a Will, a living trust can avoid the probate process – probate involves a Court and can be lengthy and expensive. Trusts are also more private as they are generally not required to be recorded upon death.
- Who has the Power? Who have you named in your Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives? Are they still the right people to handle your finances and make medical decisions if you cannot do so for yourself?
- Think about your end-of-life decisions. Do you have a current Living Will that provides guidance to loved ones concerning difficult end-of-life decisions? Does your Living Will discuss tube feeding, artificial hydration, and use of certain medications if you become terminally ill and can no longer speak for yourself? Make sure your Living Will ensures that all your wishes are met.
The Law Office of Debra G. Simms offers free estate planning consultations. Consider bringing your documents to her for a New Year’s check-up! Don’t wait until it’s too late! Call for your free consultation~386.256.4882 or toll-free 877.447.4667.