Hey everyone, it’s holiday season and I know everybody’s hustling around trying to make sure that they get their gifts done figuring out who’s cooking the turkey, but we wanted to just put a pause and make sure that you remember the most important gift that you can give to your family and that is having a very structured and developed estate plan. I know that’s not the most exciting thing when you’re talking about preparing for a possible end date or incapacitation, not something you want to talk about around the holidays. But it is probably the most important thing that we discuss with our clients because when something happens, and something does happen, we all have an expiration date. When something happens the best thing that you can have done for your family is having everything completely organized so it’s much easier for them, it can save them money, heartache, and additional stress. It also makes sure that whatever you desire comes to fruition.  

The first part of getting your estate plan in place is working with an estate planning attorney to make sure you have all the documents that you need to process the estate the way that you want.  Normally your basic documents are going to include things like a will, your powers of attorney, any medical directives you may need, and a standalone trust. You want to discuss what you want to do so the estate planning attorney can really guide you in what is the most appropriate thing to set up.

The second part of that is that making sure whatever you establish in that estate plan then gets bled over into how your accounts are titled and how beneficiary designations are set. If you don’t equal what’s going on, on this side, to what you’ve established on this side it won’t work the way that you planned.  It is a two-part process!

If you haven’t updated your estate documents in five or more years and you’ve had major life changes, such as new family members or people have passed that are written in the Will that would be executors or anything like that it’s a good idea to review those and make any updates and then make sure anything is actually updated again with your investment accounts and the things that you own.  If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at Next Step Financial Transitions we would love to help you figure out this piece of your financial plan. Have a good one.