With the new year just around the corner, many of us are considering our resolutions for the upcoming year. While many people focus on health and fitness goals, it is also essential to consider your financial and estate planning goals. Estate planning may not be the most exciting thing to think about, but it is crucial to securing your future and protecting your loved ones.
#1: Review and Update Your Estate Plan
If you already have an estate plan, the new year is a great time to review and update it. Your life circumstances can change quickly, and it is essential to make sure that your estate plan reflects those changes. Consider any significant life events in the past year, such as births, deaths, marriages, or divorces. You may need to update your will, trust, or other estate planning documents if any of these events have occurred.
#2: Create or Update Your Will
If you do not have a will, the new year is a great time to create one. A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for how your property should be distributed after your death. Without a will, your assets may be distributed according to state law, which may not align with your wishes. If you already have a will, make sure it is up to date and reflects your current wishes.
#3: Create or Update Your Trust
A trust is another estate planning tool to help you protect your assets and provide for your loved ones after death. If you have significant assets or complicated family dynamics, a trust may be a good option for you. A trust allows you to control how your assets are distributed and can help you avoid probate, which can be lengthy and expensive.
#4: Consider Retirement Planning
Retirement planning is an essential aspect of estate planning. Ensure you contribute enough to your retirement accounts and take advantage of any employer-matching contributions. If you are close to retirement age, make sure you have a solid plan for using your retirement funds. This may include creating a retirement income plan, considering long-term care options, and planning for potential healthcare costs.
#5: Discuss Your Estate Plan with Your Loved Ones
It is important to discuss your estate plan with your loved ones. This can help you avoid any confusion or disputes after your death. Ensure your loved ones understand your wishes and know where to find your estate planning documents. This can also be a good opportunity to discuss any family dynamics or potential conflicts that may need to be addressed in your estate plan.
Lawyers for Estate & Business Succession Planning in Rockford
By taking these essential steps, you can ensure that your estate planning strategies are current and in line with your wishes. At Reno & Zahm LLP, we can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your unique needs and goals. Contact us today at (815) 987-4050 to schedule a consultation.