A great goal for 2014? Be sure your estate plan is in order
You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club. Jack London As January rolls around each year, many of us are busy getting to work on our goals for the New Year. I love the fresh start that January brings. With a newfound determination and the kids back in school, we are ready to attack the list of things to do “after the first of the year.” I have found that this is often the busiest time of year for an estate planner. January is a great time to assess your personal financial goals. One of the most critical steps you can take for your finances and your family is to ensure that you have an appropriate and updated estate plan. For many people, that means drafting a will, trust and power of attorney for the first time. For others, it means re-visiting your current plan to make sure it continues to meet your needs. Life changes such as a birth of a child, a significant change in assets, a marriage or re-marriage or the death of a beneficiary or other individual named in your estate planning documents are all important reasons to update your estate plan. Additionally, for clients who have an existing estate plan, it is also essential to ensure that your trust is properly funded. Often times a trust is funded at the time it is created, but when a client acquires a new asset or opens a new bank account, they neglect to place that asset in the trust. One forgotten asset outside of a trust can necessitate a probate proceeding upon death. So as you make your lists and set your goals for 2014, don’t forgot to include a check-up for your estate plan!