An effective estate plan is like a finely-tuned machine, and it needs regular maintenance to make sure it operates harmoniously in the face of life’s changes and challenges. An estate plan should be revisited every few years as well as after any major life change to make sure it is still aligned with your current life goals, circumstances, and wishes.
Here is a checklist to help guide you through regularly reviewing an estate plan:
1. Updated Information
It is incredibly important to keep all the vital information in an estate plan up to date, including contact details, beneficiary information, and the specifics of representatives that have been appointed. Keeping information current makes a flawless execution of the estate plan possible.
2. Legal Documents
Ensure the legitimacy of all legal documents, including the will, trusts, and power of attorney. The legal soundness of these documents safeguards the legacy.
3. Beneficiaries and Distribution of Assets
Take a close look at named beneficiaries. Life changes such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces may lead to beneficiary choices needing to be adjusted.
4. Executor, Trustee, and Guardian Appointments
Double-check that the individuals who have been appointed are still willing and capable of carrying out their roles.
5. Guardianship for Minor Children
For those with minor children, it is essential to revisit the choice of guardian to ensure this individual is still the best fit for the children’s well-being.
6. Assets and Liabilities
Make sure that any recent acquisitions are updated in listed assets and that any outstanding debts or liabilities are accounted for in the inventory.
7. Digital Assets and Online Accounts
Make sure to not overlook online presence and assets. Consider how to manage or transfer digital assets such as social media accounts or cryptocurrency wallets.
8. Business Interests
For business owners or those with business interests, evaluate the plan for managing or transferring these assets to make sure they still align with your current goals and intentions.
9. Healthcare Directives
Take a look at healthcare directives, including living wills and healthcare proxies, to make sure they still reflect your medical wishes.
10. Power of Attorney
Review your choices for financial and legal power of attorney to ensure that your affairs will be managed according to your current preferences.
Next week, I will share 10 more important things to check while reviewing your estate plan.
For help with your estate plan, contact us at Wilson and Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC at 708 482 7090 for our main office in LaGrange, Illinois or at 847 656 8958 for our Northbrook, Illinois office.