Taxes Are Over – Summer is Not Yet Here – It’s Time to Get Estate Planning Off of Your Bucket List
The mad rush to file your taxes are (or should be) done. It’s early spring if you are in Michigan and the weather forecast for Northern Michigan is cool until early June.
It’s time to get some things off of your bucket list before the beautiful summer weather sets in. Don’t leave everything for the autumn.
You have been meaning to do estate planning – you’ve talked about it – you know you should do it.
Somehow it is something that gets put off until another day.
It’s time to get started. What will you need to do?
• Check all of your beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and your 401K’s, IRA’s, and other deferred savings accounts. Are these the way that you want them? Is your spouse or significant other the primary beneficiary? Who have you named as the secondary or contingent beneficiaries?
• Do you have a Will or a Trust? If not, you should think about who you would leave your assets to when you pass away. If the beneficiaries are children or young adults, you might consider whether you would want them to get the money immediately or have it managed on their behalf.
• Who would be the individual you would select as your Personal Representative (Executor) or Successor Trustee? Who would you select if your first choice was unavailable?
• Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney for financial and legal affairs? If you do, are the choices still correct? If not, who would you trust to be your agent if you were unable to manage your financial affairs? Who could be a back-up in case your first choice was unavailable?
• Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney for Medical matters? Who would you select to make medical decisions for you if you were not able to do so? Who would be the back-up?
Armed with this information, your next step is to make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to get your documents drafted.
Don’t put it off! Get started today!