You can’t put a price on Peace Of Mind. With 2023 just around the corner, now is the time to take inventory and review your estate plan to make sure it reflects your current circumstances and wishes. The following items on our 2022 Estate End Of Year Planning Checklist are important to review to ensure your loved ones are protected in case the unexpected happens.
2022 End Of Year Estate Planning Checklist
1. Create A List Of All Your Assets
There is no other way you can begin getting your legal affairs in order without first starting with your assets. It is important to have a list of every single asset to your name in one place. Assets that should be listed include the following:
- All property
- Checking and savings accounts
- Stock, bonds, IRAs, 401(k)s and any other savings or retirement accounts
- Insurance policies
- Vehicles, boats, planes, art
A separate list should be created that includes all of the debt to your name:
- Rent-to-own properties
- Vehicle leases
- Credit card debt
- Lines of credit
Do you have questions about Estate Planning? Are you concerned that your estate plan is not properly laid out?
Call THE South Florida Estate Planning Attorney Barry Siegel after reviewing our Estate Planning Checklist.
2. Determine The Value Of Your Assets
Asset valuation is the next item on the Estate Planning Checklist. A value will need to be assigned to every single asset to your name. Asset valuation is easy when looking at a checking, savings, 401(k) Roth IRA, or any other financial account. It can be more difficult to assign a value to cars, properties, art collections, and other items.
3. Acquire A Power Of Attorney and A Living Will
It is vital that you have a Power of Attorney and a Living Will to your name before the end of the year. These are important legal documents that dictate how you are to be cared for if you become incapacitated, including how your bills will be handled.
You should also have a Durable Power of Attorney created. This legal document ensures that the courts will not get involved in the distribution of your financial assets upon your death. You can also outline instructions in these documents that permit your attorney to speak with your doctor about your wishes regarding medical care.
4. Name Your Beneficiaries
Naming your beneficiaries ensures that the right people receive proceeds from life insurance policies and other assets upon your death. If you recently married, add your spouse as the beneficiary. If you recently had a baby, you may want to split the money between your spouse and your child. If you are single, name a family member or close friend as the beneficiary. Whatever you decide, just be sure to name someone and never leave it blank.
5. Place All Legal Documents In One Secure Location
Your Will, insurance policies and all other legal documents should be together in one secure location. The options available include the following:
- A fireproof safe kept in your home
- A safety deposit box in your local bank
- Backed up to a secure cloud-based server
- In a lockbox with your Estate Planning Attorney
Tell a trusted family member where these documents are kept so they know where to go upon your death.
6. Assign Transfer-On-Death Account Designations
Checkings, savings and other investment accounts often allow you to assign transfer-on-death instructions to the people of your choosing. If you name a spouse, child or friend as a transfer-on-death recipient of these accounts, they will have access to the funds without having to pass through probate.
7. Pick Someone To Administer Your Estate
The final item on our Estate Planning Checklist is to pick someone to administer your estate. This will be the most important decision you make in the Estate Planning process outside of naming guardians for your minor children. You might not ever have to utilize the guardian for your children, but you will need to use the estate administrator.
A spouse is not always the best decision for this position as they will be stressed, upset and dealing with a host of emotions following your death. You want to pick someone who can easily handle a stressful situation, will not let emotions get the best of them and will follow the instructions in your Will explicitly. Examples of people to choose as an estate administrator include the following:
- A lifelong friend
- Someone who is very strong with money
- Someone who is much younger than you
- A trusted family member
- Someone who has good judgment and common sense
Do you have questions about our Estate Planning Checklist?
Estate Planning can seem to be an overwhelming process since there are so many factors to consider. You may be asking yourself many questions. We understand and are here to help. Our 2022 End Of Year Estate Planning Checklist is the perfect place to begin your journey to protect your loved ones and give yourself Peace Of Mind. It is an easy-to-follow guide to help you evaluate all of the important factors necessary for preparing a personalized Estate Plan specifically tailored to you and your family’s needs.
Call THE South Florida Estate Planning Attorney – Barry Siegel
When you have questions about Estate Planning, you can trust Barry Siegel and the experienced South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys at The Siegel Law Group, P.A. Call our office at 561-576-6206 to schedule a complimentary consultation or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.