Vacation season is quickly closing, and we find that many clients rush into our office just before the summer to make sure that their estate planning is in order before they travel by plane, ship, or car. Here is a quick check list to ease your concerns about your pre-vacation estate planning issues:
- Review your current estate plan to ensure that it provides specifically what you want it to. If you have not already done an estate plan, at least get a basic plan done, including at a minimum a last will and testament, a financial power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a living will.
- Review assets in which you have named beneficiaries, including: life insurance policies, retirement accounts, payable on death or transfer on death accounts, “in trust for” accounts, and any other accounts that have beneficiary designations. We have found that many people neglect to update those as life changes. Those items do not go through your will and, therefore you need to make sure the beneficiaries you named are correct.
- Make sure your plan provides for minor children. It is imperative that you list a guardian in your estate planning so that, in case of your death, you have authorized another person to raise your children. It is much better to provide for that ahead of time than to leave the decision up to a court.
- Organize your accounts and documentation. Make sure that information on all of your accounts, including online accounts, is in one place so that your family can easily locate and access them, and will provide what they will need to know, including how to pay bills, in the event of your death.
- It is essential to let your family know your wishes about your plan in general. Too often clients are very secretive of what they want to have happen because they are afraid to upset family members. Even so, at a minimum it is important to let at least some family members know where to find your estate planning documents so that they are able to immediately keep everything moving forward.
Accomplishing the objectives in this to-do list will give you peace of mind and help insure an enjoyable vacation. Contact us before your next vacation and we can help give you peace of mind!
D: 05/18/2018 01:55:49 P