Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer Offers End-of-the-Year Tips

new year, Naperville business law attorneyIn addition to opening Christmas presents and toasting the new year, the end of the calendar year is also a time to review your estate plan and create a strategy for reaching your financial goals in 2018. This time of year is a good time to do an estate plan “check-up.”  An up-to-date estate plan can ensure that your final wishes are clear, offer peace of mind that your family is taken care of after you have passed, as well as protect your current rights and financial interests.

When someone passes away without an estate plan, their state of residence distributes their assets according to the state laws. This means that the person has little say in how their assets are disseminated after they die. To ensure that your final wishes are followed, make sure to have a knowledgeable attorney assist you in making a comprehensive estate plan.

Review Your Current Estate Plan for Needed Changes

As you are reviewing your estate plan, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What family changes have taken place this year? Did you get married or divorced?
    Have you or your spouse had a baby, or are you planning to? Have there been any deaths in the family this year? Changes like this can affect your estate plan.
  • How has your financial status changed? Have you experienced any changes in income, expenses, investments, or charitable giving this year? If so, it may be helpful to seek help from a financial advisor. If you wish to donate to charity keep in mind that Dec. 31 is the deadline if you wish to deduct the donations from your 2017 tax return. Many financial experts also encourage people to max out their retirement contributions before the end of the calendar year. If you have received an inheritance this year, an estate planning attorney can help you protect or invest this extra income.
  • Are you comfortable with your executor, trustees, bequests, and guardians named in your will and trusts? Review those people named as financial and medical powers of attorney to make sure that they are still appropriate choices. A common estate planning mistake occurs when a person designates someone as a beneficiary but then that person’s marital status changes. If the beneficiary designation is not up to date, it is possible that the people you intend to leave your assets to will receive nothing.
  • Are your end-of-life instructions up to date with current legislation? If your documents are more than five years old, consult an attorney for assistance in updating them. Also, double check that your current life, long-term care, and liability insurance plans are currently meeting your needs.

Trustworthy Legal Assistance

If you do not currently have an estate plan or you just need to make adjustments to an existing plan, our experienced Naperville estate planning lawyers can help provide the direction you need. Contact The Gierach Law Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

U.S. News and World Report

Forbes