It is advisable for individuals to review wills, trusts and other estate planning documents periodically. The end or beginning of each year is a good time for this.
When reviewing estate plans, individuals should consider these questions:
- Do the provisions still accomplish your goals?
- Have your documents been updated to take advantage of changes to tax laws?
- Do your documents contain provisions that provide asset protection to your children, grandchildren and other loved ones?
- Are the fiduciaries named (Personal Representative/Executor, Trustee, Power of Attorney/Agent-in-Fact, Health Care Agent) still appropriate?
- Are your Durable Power of Attorney and Living Will on file with family members and health care providers?
- Have estate planning concepts, funeral arrangements and decisions on anatomical gifts been discussed with family?
- Are your life insurance policy and retirement plan beneficiary designations still appropriate and in line with your overall estate plan?
- Are bank accounts and other assets titled in line with your overall estate plan?
- For business owners, are buy-sell agreements and the related valuations and life insurance policies up to date?