As the summer winds down and we round the final corner of 2023, now is a good time to review your estate plan and make sure it still meets your needs and goals. I recommend to my clients that they review their plans at least once a year. Fall will be here sooner than most of us would like, and will be quickly followed by the busiest season of the year for many of us– the holidays. So if changes to your plan are necessary, now is a good time to make them.
I encourage you to find an hour of time and a quiet space in the next few weeks to review your estate planning documents. These might include Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Directives and Living Wills, life insurance policies, financial records and any other important documents.
When you’re reading through them, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I understand what these documents do/mean?
- Do the documents still represent my wishes?
- Are the beneficiaries correct? Has there been a recent birth or death in my family that requires an update or change to my documents?
- Are the people I have put in positions of power (executor/guardian/trustee/power of attorney) still the right people for the job? Are they still alive? Are the right back-up people in place?
- Are these Wills (or other documents) so old that they should be in a museum?
Asking yourself these questions as you review your estate planning documents will help you determine if it’s time to make changes to them. If your plan and/or documents no longer conform to your wishes, then it’s time to make an appointment with your attorney or other trusted professional to make the necessary updates. And if you have questions about what’s in your documents or what they do or mean, now is a good time to reach out to your advisor to get those answers.
Marc Guertin is the principal at Marc Guertin, Attorney at Law, LLC in North Haven, Connecticut. If you would like to talk about your plan, free initial consultations are available via video, phone or in-person appointments. Call 203-500-0201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to meet.