Fall is in the air and winter is right around the corner. Many of us are trying to complete our goals for 2018 before the new year is upon us. If one of your goals this year was to pull out and dust off your estate planning binder and make sure everything is up to date – time is running out. If you are still committed to completing this goal, the following checklist may help:
|I have a current Health Care Power of Attorney and living will (Advance Health Care Directive) to permit my spouse, children and/or family to make emergency health care and end of life decisions for me in the event I am unable to do so.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|I have a current Financial Durable Power of Attorney to permit my spouse or children to handle my financial affairs in the event I become disabled.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|My Revocable Trust or Power of Attorneys specify a clear test to determine my disability.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|If I have a Revocable Living Trust in place as part of my estate plan, my trust gives clear instructions for my care and the care of my loved ones.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|If I have pets, my trust gives clear instructions for the care of my pets?||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|I am certain that my current estate plan will minimize possible income and estate taxes at my death, including taxes on retirement |
|If I have a Revocable Living Trust in place as part of my estate plan, I’m sure that my trust is fully funded so that my family can avoid the |
delays and expenses of probate.
|I have taken steps to avoid possible contests and disputes at my death.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|I have taken steps to protect my children’s inheritance in the event my surviving spouse chooses to remarry.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|I have recently checked the beneficiary designations of my retirement plans and life insurance policies, and I am confident that I have not listed my estate or any minor children as either primary or secondary beneficiaries.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|I am satisfied with the persons I named as guardians of my minor children in my current plan.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|I am satisfied with the persons I named to make financial decisions in my current plan.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
|I am satisfied with the persons I named to make health care decisions in my current plan.||Yes||No||Don't Know|
If you answered “No” or “Don’t Know” to any of these questions you should have your plan reviewed by a competent attorney – soon. Unfortunately, I have spent the last several weeks dealing with issues in estate plans that could have been corrected and saved substantial amounts of money had they been addressed before the individuals died. It is so much easier for you to fix problems with your plan than it will be for your loved ones when you cannot. Please call if you would like to have the attorneys at Hallock & Hallock review your estate plan. We have a rigorous review checklist designed to unearth problems now that may derail your estate plan later.