Estate planning is often seen as a one-time thing you do and then forget about. But just like your physical home needs regular tidying and decluttering, your estate plan also needs occasional housekeeping to ensure it's still up-to-date and reflects your current wishes.
What is estate planning housekeeping?
Estate planning housekeeping is reviewing and updating your estate planning documents to ensure they reflect your current life circumstances and wishes; this could include things like:
- Reviewing your trust, will, and living will: Have there been any significant changes in your life, such as a marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child? If so, you may need to update your trust and will to reflect these changes.
- Updating your beneficiaries: Do you need to add or remove a beneficiary? If so, you must update the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other financial accounts. It is essential to be clear as to who inherits your assets.
- Checking on your power of attorney and healthcare proxy: These documents designate someone to decide on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself. Please ensure the people you named are still up to the task and that you are comfortable with them making these critical decisions.
- Considering changes in the law: Estate planning laws can change over time. It's a good idea to talk to an attorney every few years to ensure your plan is current.
Why is estate planning housekeeping essential?
Doing estate planning housekeeping is vital to help avoid confusion and conflict after your death. If your estate plan is out-of-date, it can be difficult for your loved ones to know your wishes, which could lead to arguments, legal fees, probate, and even court battles.
How often should you do estate planning housekeeping?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, it is a good idea to review your estate plan at least once a year or more often if there have been any significant changes in your life.
Tips for estate planning housekeeping:
- Gather all of your estate planning documents in one place. This will make it easier to review them all at once.
- Make a list of any changes you need to make. This will help you to stay organized and on track.
- Talk to an attorney if you have any questions or concerns. An attorney can help you ensure your up-to-date estate plan meets your needs.
Estate Planning Kit
In addition to the tips above, I recommend you request an estate planning kit. These kits can be a helpful resource for organizing and ensuring you have all the necessary documents.
I hope this blog post has been helpful. If you have any questions, please comment below and request an *estate planning kit. *There is a limited quantity of estate planning kits.
P.S. It is important to talk to your loved ones about your estate plan. This will help them to understand your wishes and make it easier for them to carry out your plan after your death.
Disclaimer: We are not lawyers, and this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an attorney to discuss your specific estate planning needs. Although we are not attorneys, the Dixon Financial Group advisors are essential to the estate plan because we know how investments are inherited. That knowledge allows us to help manage the estate's distribution to minimize taxation and maximize benefits to your loved ones.
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