2016 National Estate Planning Awareness Week

This week, October 17-23, 2016 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week, pursuant a 2008 Congressional resolution that was prompted by an estimate that over 120 million Americans were without up-to-date estate plans to protect themselves or their families in the events of sickness, accidents or untimely death.

If you are part of the majority of adult Americans who do not have an estate plan, I urge you to start the process immediately.

Even if you do have a plan, consider how up-to-date your plan is.  Have any of the following life events occurred to you after your estate plan was last updated?

  • Your net worth has changed significantly
  •  You have married, divorced or remarried (you don’t want an ex-spouse to unintentionally end up with a share of your inheritance)
  • You have a new child or child or grandchild (make sure you have named guardians for your children and that previously named guardians are still appropriate)
  • Your child has reached the age of majority (be sure he or she has signed a power of attorney and HIPAA notice so you can have access to their medical information since they are now adults for that purpose)
  • A child, grandchild, spouse or partner has become a person with special needs (you don’t want to unintentionally disqualify a love one from Medicaid by leaving them an inheritance directly)
  • You are part of an unmarried committed couple (without a Will or Trust, your partner may not receive any of your estate under state law).

If you do not have an estate plan or have had one of the life changes listed above since you last reviewed your estate plan, or if several years (which translates to multiple law changes) have passed since you last looked at your estate planning documents, please call me to schedule a meeting to discuss your estate.