These Are Very Strange Times

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2020 | Elder Law, Financial Planning, Important Documents, Wills

Regardless of when you were born, there are world-wide events that you know influenced you in some way. It may have been because you were a child watching your parents go through it, regardless, you remember it. It was a long time ago, but you might know someone who remembers the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918. Although we have a lot more ways to be prepared for a pandemic today, such as Amazon, Uber Eats, and remote workstations, but we still must think about being prepared.

When it comes to preparation, we’re experts here at Smith Alling, PS. Every day we help folks make sure they have everything in place in case an emergency happens. So, if you don’t have an estate plan, now would be a good time to think about putting one in place.

Step One

Review your current documents to make sure that the people you have named for positions like your Personal Representative, Trustee, Power of Attorney, Health Care Agent, and if you have minor children – Guardian, are still the right individuals for those jobs. You might want to read more about what to make sure is in place according to your age HERE.

Review who is listed to receive the assets of your estate. Do the individuals listed and the amounts each will receive still reflect your wishes?

Does your Health Care Directive express your health and end of life decisions?

Is someone receiving assets from your estate outright (i.e. not in a trust) but probably shouldn’t? Perhaps because they have a chemical dependency issue, serious mental health issue, pending divorce, are receiving government benefits or other reason that would prevent them from managing the inheritance in a responsible manner. Read more about Trusts HERE.

If you have a Revocable Trust, are your assets properly titled in the name of the Trust?

Do retirement accounts and life insurance policies have beneficiary designations in place, and do they still reflect your wishes? Most attorneys will include recommendations on how assets should be titled and wording for beneficiary destinations. Now is a good time to review those recommendations and make sure they have been implemented.

If your estate plan was prepared before 2017, you may want to review your estate plan to make sure that the proper estate tax provisions are included in your plan.

If you have large amounts held in a retirement account, you should consider the possible impact the new SECURE Act may have on you and those who will inherit your retirement account. (Learn more about the SECURE Act HERE.)

When in doubt, call Us! Each situation is unique, and each estate plan needs to be tailored to match. Please know that we are here to assist you with your estate planning needs.

If you are uncomfortable about coming into the office, we can do a consultation by phone. Don’t wait. Contact Bob Michaels at Smith Alling today!