You may have set some preliminary goals for yourself at the start of 2020 to make changes or add new information to your estate plan. As we move into the mid-year, it’s an excellent time to assess your progress and move forward with unfinished tasks. If you are still in the process of reviewing your plan, there are certain areas you may want to consider. Here is more about the estate planning updates to make in 2020.
Update Your Beneficiary Designations
Having retirement and bank accounts with outdated beneficiary information can be a disaster. You may have named a friend or sibling on the forms that established these accounts years before you met your spouse or had children. If you haven’t reviewed them in a while, you may not remember who has been designated. The same problem can arise with life insurance policies. If any of these devices are part of your estate plan, take a moment to review them, and confirm that the correct people are named as your beneficiaries.
Update and Fund Your Trust
If you have established a living trust, it’s essential to review its terms from time to time and confirm that the trust assets are still accurately described. If you have added assets to or removed property from the trust, you should revise the trust documents to reflect the changes. If you have named assets but not placed them into the trust, now may be a good time to make the necessary transfers. Upon review, you may find that the trust funds and assets could be improved. If you can increase the trust’s value by transferring ownership of an asset or adding funds, it would be advisable to do so.
Update Your Advance Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney
Many people develop their Advance Health Care Directives and then put the documents away for years. By the time the instrument is needed, the individual’s treatment preferences and chosen medical decisionmaker may have changed significantly. The same is true when it comes to creating a power of attorney document. When the device was initially drafted, you may have had complete trust in someone to pay your bills and handle simple financial matters. Today, your holdings may be much more complicated, and managing them may require a different skill set. Checking over these two essential instruments and making sure they accurately reflect your current circumstances should be a priority in 2020.
Update Your Will
Although it seems basic, updating your will is one of the tasks that can impact your estate and loved ones the most. An outdated will that does not pass assets to beneficiaries as expected or omits certain heirs can have harmful consequences and lead to protracted litigation. When you routinely review and make updates to your will based on your life circumstances, your intent may be less questionable to a reviewing court.
Estate plans remain fixed in time, but people’s lives do not. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your estate plan is keeping pace with the changes in your life. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are dedicated, professional, California estate planning attorneys with over 37 years of combined experience and the expertise you need to assist you with all of your estate planning needs. Schedule a consultation today to learn more and start your solution. https://www.salvolaw.com/