End-of-Year Estate Planning Goals

While it’s impossible to predict the future, one thing is for certain. If we don’t plan for it, life can be difficult for our loved ones when we pass. This is why creating an estate plan is something we should do sooner rather than later.

Many people hold off on estate planning because they believe they don’t have a big enough estate or are simply too young to worry about things like wills and retirement. The truth is that everyone should have a plan, regardless of age or net worth. Conversely, other people create an estate plan, but fail to update it even after their life circumstances change. This results in a plan that does not reflect their new or changed wishes and relationships.

Below are some reasons why you should put together an estate plan or revise your existing one before 2023 rolls in!

You Got Married or Divorced

A spouse’s presence or absence could have a profound impact on how your assets are distributed after your death. If you get married, it’s likely you’ll want your spouse to inherit your estate, or if it’s a second marriage, you may want your children from a previous marriage to inherit your estate as well. When you get divorced, you will usually want to remove your former spouse from your estate plan as well as from your retirement assets, pensions, and insurance policies.

You Welcomed Children into Your Family

There are many ways that you can welcome children into your family, and you’ll want to ensure that their future is protected. While birth and adopted children are heirs at law, foster or stepchildren must be named in your estate plan to be beneficiaries. If you have a child with special needs, they should be provided for differently in your estate plan, especially if their condition is a lifelong one. Review your trust, will, and other documents to ensure that your children are cared for appropriately, especially if you pass while they are still minors.

You Bought or Sold Property

Your estate’s value can be dramatically affected by the purchase or sale of real estate. Establishing a revocable living trust after purchasing real estate can help you avoid probate. Living trusts allow your property to pass directly to your beneficiaries after your death and to be divided proportionally, taking into account any outstanding mortgages or equity lines of credit. 

You Started or Sold a Business

Business succession planning specifies who will take over the management or ownership of your business after you retire or pass away. If you want to avoid confusion when your business leadership changes, you may need to update or establish your estate plan to include a business succession plan.

You Were Diagnosed With a Medical Condition

You should review your estate planning needs immediately following a serious medical diagnosis or sudden accident. Perhaps you should change your designations for who will handle your health care and financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated. Ensure that your current wishes are reflected in your estate plan, that you have completed all the documents you need and have them on file with all the medical and financial institutions who will need them if you become incapacitated.

Speak With an Estate Planning Attorney Today

With estate planning, sooner is better than later. At Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, we will sit down with you, discuss your current family and financial situation, and help you create a plan that gives your loved ones security and you peace of mind. As your life changes, we will also update your plan to reflect those changes. To schedule a consultation, call 270-982-2883 today.

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