Successful estate plans are those that accurately express your wishes. As wishes change, the plan needs to be updated. A new year is a good time to review your estate plan and make sure it is up-to-date. Time Magazine published a short handy checklist.
Do the fiduciaries designated still pass muster?
[M]ake sure that the people that you’ve named in your plan as fiduciaries — such as your health care agent, attorney, executor, or trustee — are still appropriate. If your personal or professional relationships have changed, check to see whether your estate plan documents need an update.
Life insurance is another area of planning that tends to be neglected after it is set up.
As part of a regular checkup, you should consider whether any significant life changes require adjustments to your life insurance coverage. Review your beneficiary designations to make sure they name the appropriate people, and ask yourself the following questions: Have you gotten married or divorced? Have you had additional children, or have older graduated college or moved out of the house? Have you changed jobs and lost employer-provided life insurance? Has your spouse or partner cut back on his or her work schedule? Have you purchased a more expensive home with a bigger mortgage?
Bringing the estate plan current is a great way to maintain peace of mind and start the new year right.
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