It is always a good idea to routinely review your estate plan to ensure it is current. In addition, it is a good idea to know if there are times and parts of an estate plan that should receive special attention during the estate planning process or during a review of an estate plan.
Important parts of an estate plan to review
There are several parts of an estate plan that may not want to wait for your routine review to take a look at including:
- Review powers of attorney and healthcare proxies – it is important that the agent designated in a power of attorney or healthcare proxy is a trustworthy and reliable selection. It is also not a bad idea to name a backup.
- Review and evaluate your will – it is important that the party named as the executor in the estate planner’s will is regularly reviewed to ensure that is who they want performing that important role. Guardian designations for minor children are also extremely important and should also be kept current.
- Review and fund your trust – it is important to decide which type of trustee to name and how the assets will be passed which can be all at once or as an ongoing income stream. It is also helpful to avoid probate by funding the trust.
- Review and update your beneficiary designations – ensure that the named beneficiaries are who the estate planner wants and that beneficiary designations are directly made.
In addition, it is important to take advantages to any changes to tax laws that will impact your estate plan and that should be done promptly. Estate planning is an evolving process and it is important to keep and estate plan up-to-date to achieve the estate planner’s wishes and to ensure it will be an effective tool when needed for the estate planner and their family.