Many people assume financial plans made today for tomorrow are good forever, but that can amount to a costly mistake. Here’s a quick list of what needs an annual tuneup:
You should review your life insurance annually, and whenever you have a significant life change. Examples of the changes that require your immediate attention are:
• Marriage or divorce
• Birth of a child or grandchild
• Greater financial responsibility
• Death of a beneficiary
A review of your policies should include more than adding or removing beneficiaries. Consider whether your coverage is still adequate or if you need more. An annual review is also a good time to decide whether to convert term policies to permanent insurance.
A review of your will should also consider how any current or pending changes in tax laws will affect its terms. Make sure you also address financial wind-falls, as well as setbacks. This is especially true if a financial change will influence the equitable distribution of assets.
Most trust attorneys agree that an annual review of revocable trusts is a sound practice. The law regarding trusts is always evolving warranting a regular examination. Trusts are unlike wills in that recently divorced spouses are not automatically disinherited. Divorced spouses must be removed manually from trust documents.
An annual review of your entire estate plan follows the same rules as trusts, wills, and life insurance. It will confirm that each of the components still meets your overall estate plan.
Other life changes that may need to be addressed include your retirement and any sizable inheritance you have received as these may have an impact on your estate’s tax status. It is also advisable to engage in a more thorough review with the aid of a professional estate planner every five years.
Local attorney, Holly Geerdes, Esq. provides excellent solutions daily to families who value protecting the assets and traditions they have worked their entire lives to achieve. Her firm, The Atlanta Estate Law Center, takes the time to understand each client’s needs and desires to continue to take care of their families when they no longer are here or have the competency to do so. Our combination of empathy and expertise are what set us apart. Take the next step and reserve your spot in a workshop today.