No matter your life circumstance, including your age and health status, it’s never too early to think about estate planning. Yet, many people put off creating or updating an estate plan.
Drafting an estate plan that covers all your bases can be challenging, as life circumstances are ever-changing. If you want to make it easier for your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death, consider adding these commonly overlooked items to your estate plan.
- Plan for incapacity
“Planning for incapacity” means meeting with your estate plan attorney and preparing the legal documents required in the event an illness or accident leaves you unable to manage your finances, pay your bills, or attend to other personal and business matters. Don’t merely focus on what happens to your assets when you’re gone. Make a plan for incapacity. A Durable Medical Power of Attorney, Living Will, and/or Durable General Power of Attorney could come in handy if you are temporarily or permanently unable to do so yourself.
- Consider asset management for children
Children, particularly minor children, are primary concerns when choosing estate planning options. You want to ensure your assets will transition smoothly to your children. How you do that will likely depend on whether they are adults, minors, or even special needs children. Consider how to manage any inheritance or assets they would receive upon your death. A revocable living trust can be a handy estate planning tool here.
- Organize and identify digital assets
- Build in divorce protection
The end of a marriage often means that estate plans need to be reviewed, revised, and replaced. Estate planning after divorce must address your entire estate plan, including your legal documents and financial accounts.
- Review and update your estate plan periodically
Once you have an estate plan, it never expires. However, it does need to be reviewed and updated regularly to keep it current with your life and applicable laws. An outdated estate plan could be challenged in probate court more easily or create unnecessary tensions between your loved ones. Make sure your estate is ready for anything life throws at you.
- Review ever-changing tax exemptions
As major life events occur and things change, estate and gift tax rules and state death tax rules can be challenging to predict. Tax exemptions can affect your estate and its heirs, especially around lifetime gifting. If you have wealth or property, review your tax exemption options to lessen any potential financial burdens.
- Seek expert guidance
Estate planning is a daunting process, one that can turn out to be disastrous if done incorrectly. Trying to save money by drafting your own plan could be more costly in the long run. You could overlook many things.
Working with an expert can help you avoid catastrophic issues. The estate planning attorneys at Yee Law Group want to help and guide you through the challenging estate planning process. Contact us to schedule a consultation about your estate planning needs.