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Do Not Forget an Estate Plan in End of Year Financial Planning


People who are financially savvy take time at the end of every year to review their financial outlook and plans. They look at their investments and determine if any asset reallocations are necessary. They review their retirement plans to make sure they are still on track.

As U.S. News & World Report points out in an article entitled "3 Key Considerations for Year-End Financial Planning," it is also a good idea to review estate plans as another year draws to a close.

In that spirit, here are a few simple tasks you can do with your estate plan at the end of the year:

  1. Make sure all beneficiary designations are up-to-date.

  2. Consider whether you want to change any delegations of authority in your general durable power of attorney and health care power of attorney.

  3. Read your will and make sure you still want your property divided as specified.

  4. If you have a trust make sure any property you acquired during the last year has been properly added to the trust.

  5. Talk to your family about your estate planning goals.

  6. Make any gifts as called for by your gifting plan if you have one.

  7. If in your estate plan review you discover changes should be made to your plan, call your estate planning attorney and schedule an appointment for the beginning of the year.

Following those steps every year will go a long way to making sure your estate plan is always up-to-date and effective.

Reference: U.S. News & World Report (Dec. 17, 2015) "3 Key Considerations for Year-End Financial Planning"

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