As the year draws to a close, it is a perfect time to review your estate plan (or get one in place)! An easy place to start is to evaluate whether updates may be needed due to changes in family and financial status.
Some starting questions to consider:
- Have you gotten married or divorced in the past year?
- Did you have additional children (through birth or adoption)?
- Has anyone named in your estate plan passed away (or have your relationships changed to the point where you would like to name different people)?
- Have any health related or special needs matters arisen?
- Have you gained or lost employment?
- Has your financial picture changed drastically (for better or worse)?
- Do you intend to make gift, medical, or educational gifts before the end of the year to take advantage of the federal gift tax exclusions?
- Have you checked your beneficiary designations? Disability plans?
- Do you plan to retire soon?
If any of these questions apply to you, you may want to revisit your estate plan with a professional to make sure it is still the best way to accomplish your goals going forward into the new year.