10 Estate Planning Tips to Start the New Year Off Right

An estate planning checklist created for clients of the Law Offices of John Mangan, PA in Palm City and Stuart, FL, is the tool you need to organize your plan.

An estate planning checklist will help to organize your thoughts.

Have you found that the New Year is a good time to reflect on your life and make plans for the future? In part of your reflection and making plans for the future, have you included your Florida estate planning? We understand that it may not be the first thing you think about, but it is certainly critical for being sure that in the future your wishes are honored, and your loved ones are taken care of. We have put together an estate planning checklist to start the New Year off right and would like to share it with you for effective Florida estate planning.

An estate planning checklist for you:

Review your will or trust agreement.

Since you last reviewed your documents have there been changes in your life? Have there been marriages, divorces, births, and deaths? All these changes can impact your Florida estate plan. So, as you review your documents, be sure they reflect your current wishes and family situation.

Do you only have a will?

You might consider adding a trust agreement. Why? A trust agreement, whether irrevocable or revocable, can add greater planning opportunities for you as you aspire to reach your goals of establishing a legacy for you and the next generation. Your experienced Florida estate planning attorney will be able to inform you on how trust agreements can benefit your existing Florida estate plan.

Review and update all your beneficiary designations.

Review your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other financial products that have beneficiary designations. Again, if there have been any life changes, you may need to update these designations to make sure they align with your current intentions.

Review and update all your life insurance policies.

It is important to review your life insurance policies regularly to be sure they are in line with your current Florida estate planning goals. Whenever your life circumstances and financial situation change, so should your life insurance coverage.

Do you own your own business?

Then you need to be sure to have a plan for business succession. Did you know that if you own your own business, you should include succession planning in your Florida estate plan? You need to decide who will take over the management of your business should something happen to you. You should also work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to outline the process in your Florida estate plan to ensure a smooth transition should something happen.

Digital assets you own should be a part of your estate plan.

Because we are in the digital age, it is important to include digital assets like social media accounts, online banking, and digital files in your Florida estate plan. You need to start by taking an inventory of all your digital assets and then making a list of those assets. Again, work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to include instructions on how they should be handled.

An annual estate tax law review is essential.

Be mindful that estate tax laws can change, and you must stay informed. Review your Florida estate plan considering current tax laws and be sure to consult with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to understand how these laws could affect your Florida estate plan.

Secure your important documents.

Your Florida estate planning documents should be stored securely in a safe place. Your documents should also be accessible to the right people when needed. We recommend that you let your decision-makers or family members of your choosing know where these documents are kept.

Update power of attorney and healthcare directives.

You should have a durable power of attorney and a healthcare directive. Why? Because you will need these important documents in the event you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. In addition, these documents should be reviewed annually to make sure they always represent your wishes.

Consider adding charitable giving to your estate plan.

If philanthropy is important to you, you should consider incorporating charitable giving into your Florida estate plan. With the assistance of your experienced Florida estate planning attorney, you could add specific bequests in your will, set up a charitable trust, or designate a charity as a beneficiary of a retirement account.

An estate planning checklist is a valuable tool.

To review, Florida estate planning is a continuous process that requires regular updates. By following these ten proactive strategies for effective Florida estate planning, you can be sure that your estate plan is up-to-date and in line with your current wishes. We want you to start the New Year with the peace of mind that comes from having a comprehensive and up-to-date Florida estate plan.

When an estate planning checklist is not enough, call us.

Our estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients and to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life.

Law Offices of John Mangan, PA
Palm City – Stuart, FL

CALL: 1 (772) 218-0480

Do you question the need for attorney guidance with so many online resources? Because laws and regulations are complex, and because every person has a lot at risk, more people than ever are seeking professional guidance from an experienced, knowledgeable source. That helps explain the rapid growth of our firm. Whether you happened upon this website by accident or are one of the many referrals we receive from a nearly 15-year collection of satisfied clients, our staff can provide customized estate planning guidance for you. Call us. Our number: 1 (772) 218-0480

Written by: John Mangan, JD, MBA

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