Emergencies and crisis can creep up on anyone. If you are not prepared, your family could bear a very heavy burden when handling your estate or financial affairs. Here are some tips to help everyone lighten the load. In times like these,
it is even more important to make a proactive plan and conduct a document check up.
Make Sure Your Current Estate Plan is Updated
One of the most important things you can do is to make an estate plan or update your current estate plan. When is the last time you looked at your estate plan? Be sure to conduct a "check up" to be sure your wishes are still the same now as they were when you signed your documents. This will assure you have the proper protection and documents in case you become incapacitated such as a Power of Attorney and Living Will, or if you should pass away, a Last Will and Testament, and Revocable Living Trust.
Fund Your Trust or Name Your Beneficiaries
To avoid probate problems, you should properly fund your Revocable Living Trust. Check that all your other financial accounts and policies have beneficiaries named on them. Remember, if you leave assets to any beneficiaries who are minors, a guardian must be named as well to be in charge of the accounts For that reason, it may make more sense to leave assets to a trust for younger beneficiaries. Failing to take these steps will result in your accounts going into your probate estate, and it may be a long process before the estate is settled.
Protect Your Assets
There are numerous strategies you can use to protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit, a creditor situation, a divorce, or if you need to enter a long-term care facility with a contract. Asset protection planning, annuity planning, irrevocable trusts, and other forms of Long-Term Care planning are available, and you can discuss these with a qualified estate planning attorney.
Leave Information About Your Documents
If you become incapacitated or pass away, it is so important that your loved ones can access your important documents. This will allow them to handle your financial affairs or settle your estate if needed. Leave a list of all your important digital assets, (passwords and online accounts) in case anything needs to be done with them should you not be able to manage your own affairs.
If you would like to get more information about estate planning or if you’d like to discuss your existing estate plan and see how it holds up in this global pandemic, please call (609) 580-1044 to set up your consultation via video conferencing or telephone.