Your New Year’s Resolution: Towards an Estate Plan
Everyone needs information about what will happen when they, or a loved one dies, and what plan can be put in place to influence, in a positive way, that outcome. Even if you don’t think you have an estate worth worrying about yet; or if you are not the spouse in control of the finances — you should find out what will happen at yours or your loved one’s death.
And, if you have a plan but it is an old one, it would be wise to have it reviewed. It is especially important to review an old plan if you have acquired significant assets, if you have moved states, if you have divorced, or if there have been births, adoptions and/or deaths in the family.
So, if consulting on an Estate Plan is on your “to do” list go ahead and make the call. Set an appointment with an appropriate attorney. At McCammon Law our consultations are complimentary.
Meanwhile invest a little time in preparing for your meeting with the attorney.
Here are some pointers:
- Prepare a basic net worth statement. Include all of your assets and liabilities. Don’t forget to list life insurance.
- Indicate how assets and liabilities are owned/titled (e.g., single name, joint tenancy, community property, etc.)
- List your beneficiary designations, both primary and contingent, for assets such as, IRAs, qualified plans, annuities, life insurance and transfer-on death assets.
- Identify your desired beneficiaries, including family and/or charity. How much do you wish to leave them? In what form (outright or in trust)?
- Think about your appointments for initial and successor agents under powers of attorney, personal representatives/ executors under your will, guardians for any minor children, and trustees of any trust you might create.