Warm weather is here which brings spring cleaning. While you’re spring cleaning, it’s a great time to spruce up your estate plan by organizing your financial records, reviewing your beneficiaries, and updating your estate planning documents.
As you collect account statements for tax preparation, consider reviewing and updating your beneficiaries. A beneficiary is a person you designate to receive property from a bank, brokerage account, or an insurance policy after you pass away. To update your beneficiaries, contact your bank, broker, or insurance company. Beneficiaries you designate will trump (supersede) your wishes in your last will and testament.
Besides the tax bill, organizing documents for taxes is the worst part of spring cleaning. Consider opting in for electronic delivery of statements to reduce the amount of paperwork you have to manage. Financial institutions offer access to your accounts via an app or web portal, which may be more secure than having to manage printed copies.
Now after reviewing your financial records and beneficiaries, it’s the perfect time to spruce up your estate plan. Your estate plan should at least include your will, power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and HIPAA release.
Your estate plan must evolve as your life changes through marriage, divorce, birth, death, kids growing up, or changes to your finances. That’s why it’s important to periodically review your estate plan with your estate planning attorney to ensure the plan still meets your needs and goals as they exist today. Over time your circumstances may dictate that you need other estate planning strategies like appointing a guardian before the need arises or creating a trust to handle some of those life events.
If you need help updating your estate plan, give Hammerle Finley a call. We would love to hear from you!
Attorney Wilson is an attorney at Hammerle Finley Law Firm, a boutique law firm offering services in estate planning, probate, guardianship, business law, litigation, and real estate. Contact him at (972) 436-9300. This article does not constitute as legal advice.