The new year is a great time to get organized, and that includes reviewing your finances. Many people use January as a time to sit down with their family and make sure their estate plan is in order. Any necessary revisions can be made to accommodate recent changes, such as a marriage, divorce, birth, death, or medical diagnosis. If you do not already have a will or estate plan, then this is the perfect time to meet with an experienced lawyer.
Talking with your family about estate planning may be uncomfortable initially, but the alternative is letting the state handle your affairs should you pass away unexpectedly. This includes deciding who will raise any minor children if something happens to you and your spouse. The state will appoint a guardian who may not be the same person you would have chosen.
In recent years, tax laws have changed significantly, and it may be necessary to revise your estate plan to be sure you are taking advantage of the new laws and minimizing the fees and taxes as much as possible that will be paid at time of death.
What Should Be Included in an Estate Plan?
A complete estate plan is more than just a will that declares how your assets are distributed after your passing. It should include documents like a health care proxy or power of attorney should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own. You can also designate what kind of medical treatment you wish or do not wish to receive so that your family knows how to handle your care.
Your estate plan can include education funds for children or family members with special needs. A living trust, or an irrevocable trust, can help protect your assets from creditors. Meet with a lawyer who will determine what is best for you and your family based on your assets and needs.
What Revisions Should You Consider?
Major life events may warrant revisions to your estate plan. Marriage and divorce are two of the most significant causes for revisions, especially if an ex-spouse is a beneficiary of your will. The birth of a child is another important milestone that needs to be recognized. You should designate who you wish to be your child’s legal guardian if you were to pass away before they reach 18 years old. Finally, if you wish to add to or change the beneficiaries in your will, or if anyone you have named as a beneficiary has passed away, you should revise your documents accordingly.
Media Wills and Estates Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Can Revise Your Estate Plan for the New Year
The new year is the perfect time to review and revise your estate plan with our experienced Media wills and estates lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.