If you are a Senior, you may have created an estate plan at least once in your lifetime. When was the last time you reviewed your will, trust, power of attorney, health care proxy, and living will? We, as estate planning attorneys, recommend that you update (or at least check over) your estate plan every 5 years. And it is not because we are looking to make a fee, it is because life can change rapidly.
Are the people you have listed on your power of attorney and health care proxy the same people you would want today to manage your financial affairs or make health care decisions for you if you are no longer capable? Oftentimes, people do their estate planning once and think that they are all set. The people they named as their fiduciaries long ago are no longer around. The children who they would want making these decisions now for them were just children at the time so they were not named. There may not have even been a HIPPA form requirement for their family to know their medical status. It is crucial that these documents are completed and current for your family’s sake as well as your own.
Are the beneficiaries you named in your will or trust still the same individuals you want to inherit your estate now? Are there any additional beneficiaries you want to inherit your estate? Maybe, you have grandchildren now that you want to name. Maybe, one grandchild has special needs and if they are currently provided for in your will or trust it could harm their ability to obtain or keep government benefits. If you have a will or trust, now would be a good time to review it to make sure the terms remain consistent with your wishes. You also need to confirm that the fiduciaries you named as executor of your estate and trustee of your trust, still want and can perform these duties for you and that you have successors named in the event things should change.
Do you have the people you want named as beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) and life insurance policies? Remember some assets require a beneficiary designation and are not subject to probate.
These are just some of the many issues you need to consider when planning your estate in your senior years. Contact us today, and schedule a free consultation to discuss these issues in addition to others you need to be aware of so that you can enjoy your senior years free of worry.