Talk to Your Estate Planning Attorney to Ensure Your Estate Plan Is Current
Every year has its share of life events, and, as your estate planning attorney will tell you, even seemingly small ones can have an impact on your estate. You might already be aware that you need to update your estate plan if you have a baby, get married or divorced, or your spouse passes away. However, if you recently became a grandparent or any of your children reached the legal age last year, you should consult with an estate planning attorney about the implications for your estate plan. Spend some time thinking about any life events that happened last year so you can make sure your estate plan considers every aspect of your life.
Have Those Tough Conversations Now
Nobody likes to talk about death, but everyone is going to die. Wouldn’t you like to know that your family will be taken care of after you’re gone? This year, if you haven’t already, you should get your family together to talk about your wishes so that everyone knows exactly what you want. Avoiding the tough conversations will only make things more difficult for your family as they try to sort through your estate and honor your memory.
The tough conversations that you need to have include discussing who will make the legal and financial decisions after you pass as your durable power of attorney, who will serve as your estate’s executor, and who will make any medical decisions for you in case you are incapacitated.
Revisit Your Life Insurance Policy
Your life insurance policy will help to take care of your family when you’re gone, especially if you have small children. Are you sure that you have enough coverage to give them the life you want for them? At the bare minimum, will your policy cover your funeral costs?
On the other hand, your children might already be grown and able to take care of themselves. No matter what your situation is, the beginning of the year is a good time to take stock of what your policy offers and adjust it to the levels you think will serve your family best.
Make the Difficult Decisions Now So Your Family Doesn’t Have To
One of the most important jobs that an estate plan does is help with end-of-life issues. If you are unable, at the end of your life, to make important decisions for yourself, it can ease the pain of your spouse or children by making your wishes known ahead of time. These four documents could prove to be important:
- Durable power of attorney
- Release of information
- Healthcare power of attorney
- Living will
The first allows your designee to take over your financial and legal matters in the event you are unable to make your own decisions. The second gives your medical care provider permission to share healthcare information with your family and others you designate. A healthcare power of attorney grants someone close to you the power to make medical decisions for you. Lastly, your living will makes your wishes known regarding medical intervention if there is no
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