Estate plans should evolve over time, it is important to keep your living documents current by reviewing your estate plan every 5 years, or whenever you or your family or beneficiaries have a major life event.
The following points should be reviewed with your attorney.
DISTRIBUTION OF YOUR ESTATE
Does your plan effectively distribute your assets according to your wishes?
Do you have distribution provisions for your spouse?
What are the distribution provisions for your children? Should assets pass outright to your children or stay in trust for a longer period of time? If you decide on a continuing trust for a child, consider whether distributions should be staggered over time or whether the trust should be drafted to protect family assets from your children’s future creditors, including a divorcing spouse.
Do you want to include a trust for your grandchildren in your estate plan?
Do you hav a disabled beneficiary to consider? Do you need to incorporate special needs trust provisions for them to preserve the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits.
Are you happy with your current choices for Personal Representative and Successor Trustee.
PLANNING FOR INCAPACITY
Is it time to update your Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy. Discuss the individuals you want to serve as your agents in these documents, as well as alternate agents.
TITLING AND BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS
What is the appropriate titling and/or beneficiary designations on your assets and accounts?
What assets should be owned by your Revocable Trust and how to effectively transfer ownership of assets into the name of the Trust (or how to designate the Trust as the transfer-on-death beneficiary).
Review the beneficiary designation for all your retirement accounts. Consider whether it is appropriate to leave retirement accounts directly to your spouse and/or children, or to your Revocable Trust so that the Trustees can administer the assets. Discuss whether your Revocable Trust qualifies for the maximum payout period for a beneficiary under the SECURE Act, which became effective January 1, 2020.
It is important to keep your estate plan up to date to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
Call the Law Offices of Debra G. Simms at 386.256.4882 to learn more. We are currently offering free consultations via video conference to assist you with your needs.
This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.