I recommend reviewing your estate plan on a regular basis and as life changes. My estate planning reviews are done on an annual basis and it is to make sure all documents are up-to-date and in good order. As a financial planner in Los Angeles, here are a list of steps I recommend taking when reviewing your estate plan.
How To Review Your Estate Plan
Make a List of Your Assets
Is everything accounted for and have you determined the process for distributing how you see fit? Do you intend for your financial accounts to be factored in the will and go through the probate process or do you prefer to have them in a living trust or with designated beneficiaries, transfer on death or payable on death?
Take Your Family Into Consideration
If you’re gone, will your family have the necessary assets to pay for college? Will they have the necessary assets to pay off the home mortgage? Will they have the necessary assets to maintain their lifestyle? If you have minor children, have you named a guardian?
Identify Your Powers of Attorney
Have you set up your power of attorneys to be able to take care of your wishes? Have you set up contingencies? In the event that you become incapacitated, a durable power of attorney can act for you when it comes to your finances. A health care power of attorney or medical directive allows your trusted contact(s) to act when you are unable .
Identify Your Beneficiaries
Have you reviewed your beneficiaries? Have you set up contingencies? If you have minors listed, have you appropriately considered how to make sure they don’t receive assets before you deem they are ready?
Stay Up to Date With Estate Tax and Gifting Laws
Have you reviewed estate tax and gifting laws for your state and how it would affect your estate? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the estate tax exclusion to $11,400,000 per person. For 2019, the annual gift exclusion is $15,000 per person.
Review Your Estate Plan With Professionals
The purpose of estate planning is to ensure your loved ones are taken care of and avoid potential mistakes in the distribution of your assets. Have you reviewed your estate plan with your financial planner, estate planning attorney and/or tax advisor?
Forbes: 7 Reasons It’s Time To Update Your Estate Plan
Los Angeles Estate Plan
Still have questions in determining how to maintain and review your estate plan? Meet with a fee-only financial planner in Los Angeles or virtually online.