Who is your estate beneficiary?
It’s a new year! With it comes both the realization that “a lot has happened over the last year” and perhaps a plan to implement more changes over the coming year.
Life changing events necessitate the review, update or preparation of important documents such as your estate planning documents, will, healthcare directive/living will, durable power of attorney, IRA, 401(k) and life insurance policies. Is your Ex still your estate beneficiary?
Events that may cause you to re-examine or make changes to personal documents and the estate beneficiary include:
- The individuals you have named are deceased.
- There are new people to be named in your will (e.g., birth, adoption).
- Divorce or marriage.
- There has been a change in guardians, personal representatives, or trustees.
- Children reach the age of eighteen.
- A substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate.
- The acquisition or disposition of a significant asset.
- New state laws. You need to periodically check to see whether your state has enacted new laws that impact your estate planning documents. More importantly, if you move to a different state, don’t assume that your will made in your previous state conforms to the requirements of your new state. Each state has its own legal requirements for making a will.
- You should see an attorney about reviewing and updating your estate plans prior to reaching 701/2 years of age if you have an IRA, 401(k), or other qualified plan that requires you to begin to take distributions at age 701/2. The beneficiary that you designated will have an irrevocable impact on both your and your beneficiary’s required distributions.
If you do not have an estate planning lawyer and would like to start the search, try this site. Estate Planning Attorneys By State
It is wise to review your will, estate planning and insurance documents every three to five years, regardless of life changes. Be sure tell someone the location of your important documents, lists of bank accounts etc. Don’t forget to mention how to access security enabled websites and storage places.
Remember, if you have bought or sold property with Silver Fern Homes recently or not so recently and need help locating documents relating to the transaction, just ask! I would love to help and am always happy to hear from you.