WIth so much going on in our daily lives, it is difficult to keep up with things like your estate plan. However, if you sit down and think about it, staying up to date with your estate plan should actually be a top priority. Rather than spending time in front of the television or at the nearby bar, consider designating time to update your estate plan. While there are a lot of things to consider, you want to make sure that certain questions are addressed during the review of your estate plan.
3 Crucial Questions
1. Have You Thought About Disability? What would happen if you became disabled or even incapacitated? While we would prefer not to think about this scenario, it is very important to sit down and think about what would happen if you did become disabled or incapacitated. Assigning a power of attorney is a great start. That way they can manage your estate plan on your behalf if you became disabled or incapacitated. You are still able to serve as the trustee, while still having backup trustees if something bad was to happen. If assigning a power of attorney or backup trustee does not occur, then your family would have to go through the extremely difficult process of seeking guardianship over you.
2. Are Your Wishes In Writing? Laying out instructions within your estate plan to detail how you would like things to be handled if you became incapable of making decisions on your own is very important. Creating a living will can help break down your preferences in case of a terminal illness occurring. Having these instructions in writing for your family can take a lot of stress off of them because they do not have to make the difficult decisions about your life and feel guilty of those decisions.
3. Has Your Estate Plan Been Discussed With Your Children? At Dunncreek Advisors, too often we find that individuals do not talk about their estate plan with their adult children. Without verbal discussions, conflict can arise later between family members. The last thing you want is for your family to fight over your estate plan, so keep them in the loop as best you can. Take a look at your estate plan at least every three years, and notify your children of any changes that are made along the way.
If this article has gotten you to start thinking about your own circumstances, get in touch with my office at [email protected]. I always like meeting with people who have started to figure out their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.