New Year, New Estate Plan
We’re well into the New Year. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re like most people, you made resolutions related to health, fitness, family, or financial well-being. Estate planning may not have entered your mind as the New Year was rung in, but that doesn’t mean it is not as important as your goal to start painting or lose 20 pounds. In fact, because estate planning affects you and your family, possibly for years to come, maybe in this new year, you need a new estate plan.
Life Changes. So Do Your Goals.
Even someone with a fairly normal, uneventful life experiences major life events from time to time. Have any of the following happened since the last time you reviewed your estate plan?
- Someone was born. You may need to make space in your estate plan for additions to your family.
- Someone passed away. If the person was an heir, you may need to rebalance your estate. However, it’s also important to change your estate plan if a personal representative or agent passes away.
- Someone’s marital status changed. Divorces and marriages usually trigger major changes to your estate plan.
- Someone’s financial situation has changed. Has your net worth gone up or down? What about your heirs? It’s possible you may need to include some advanced estate planning strategies in your new estate plan. Adding asset protection may be an option if you see that your heirs need a little help with financial matters.
This is also a great time to reflect on your estate plan. If you don’t have one, there’s no time like the present to get started.
Why You Need an Estate Plan.
Sometimes we need directions and guidance. Your estate plan provides that to your family after you become incapacitated or pass away. For example:
- A Will can be used to prepare your estate for your eventual demise. You can use your Will to make sure your property goes where you want it to go.
- A Durable Power of Attorney is another legal document that lets you choose who will make decisions for you if necessary. If you become incapacitated, the agent you named in your durable power of attorney usually can start managing your financial affairs with little to no delay.
- Advanced medical directives also let you choose who will make decisions for you. However, the agent named in your advanced directives will be making medical decisions, not financial ones.
As you review your goals, also consider adding a revocable living trust to your new estate plan.
Consult with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney About Your New Estate Plan.
At the Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we help clients develop plans that achieve their estate planning goals. Please contact us at 772-324-9050 to schedule an appointment or fill out our Contact Form. From our office in Palm City, Florida, we also serve clients in surrounding communities like Stuart, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Jupiter.