Estate Planning Maintenance
Posted January 1, 2023
Posted January 1, 2023
Every January, we are presented with an opportunity to start fresh. This time of year often inspires us to take charge, make a change, and take control of our health, finances, relationships, and interpersonal growth, amongst other things.
Many people will set resolutions, reevaluate successes and failures of the last year and take inventory of what this new year holds.
You may be doing some of this yourself— setting goals, renewing your mindset, and starting the new year strong. As you launch into 2023, we hope you’ll consider your financial future.
One crucial area that is often neglected, but should be prioritized, is your estate plan. As you’re starting fresh in many aspects of life this January, take a few minutes to review your estate plan, or even better, take this opportunity to create one.
It may seem counterintuitive- thinking about what happens with your wealth after you die in what is commonly known as a season of new beginnings. However, its importance should not be taken lightly.
365 days is a long time. Considering and reviewing things that may have changed over the last year is essential. Was there a change in your marital status? Did you move? Did you welcome any new members to the family? Ask yourself these types of questions and keep note of anything you may need to discuss with your financial advisor or attorney.
Taking account of your assets and reorganizing your paperwork will benefit you and your loved ones. Consider going through the paperwork and taking an inventory of your assets. Make it straightforward for your loved ones so they can access things like your bank account information, title to your car, deed to the home, important life insurance information, and things of that nature.
First, reviewing your beneficiaries for all your accounts, such as retirement accounts, annuities, and life insurance, is important. Perhaps there were changes in your family last year, and your beneficiaries need to be updated. Keeping your beneficiaries up to date ensures that the proceeds of your accounts are consistent across the board and are in line with your wishes.
With each passing year, we are reminded of our mortality. It may not be something you want to think about now or ever, but it is a reality. Preparing a will and keeping it up to date will relieve the burden on your family after your passing. It’s also essential to have a will, even if you have a Revocable Trust to catch all the things not covered by it.
What is a revocable living trust? Great question. A revocable trust is established when a grantor signs a trust agreement acknowledging a person or corporation as an administrator of the trust. While the grantor (the person who gives the assets) retains the rights to this trust during their lifetime, it typically allows the property to be managed for the grantor’s benefit. (Source: Fiduciary Trust International)
So why would it be beneficial to have a revocable living trust? One of the main benefits of a revocable trust is to avoid the probate process. When your family is already grieving, adding the stress of a probate process can only add to their pain. However, with a revocable trust, assets in the trust bypass probate and can quickly and privately pass to loved ones.
Once you feel like your estate plan is set and ready for the new year, consider reviewing it with your financial advisor. At Thayer Financial, we work with your best interest in mind 100% of the time and are constantly looking for ways to help you save on taxes, optimize your portfolio and ensure that your estate plan is right for you.
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