July 09, 2016
Annual Estate Planning Review Checklist for Michigan Residents
Hopefully you go to the doctor for a yearly physical. Getting a good checkup gives you a feeling of contentment knowing you are doing all you can do to keep yourself healthy. Have you considered a yearly estate planning checkup? Going through your documents and reassessing your decisions will give you peace of mind knowing you’ve done all you can do to keep your family secure if something happens to you.
An annual review doesn’t mean you have to read the legal documents front-to-back. Just go through the most important elements to make sure you would make the same decisions today. Here’s a checklist that will walk you through the process:
Estate Planning Review for Major Life Changes
Have you had any life changes since you last updated your estate plan? Have you gotten married? Have you had a child? Have you recently moved from another state? All of these life changes may impact your estate planning which require your will or trust to be updated.
Estate Planning Review for Trustee and Personal Representitive Designations
Is the person you selected to be executor the person you would select today? If circumstances have changed and you now question whether this person is responsible and trustworthy you should consider updating your will or trust. Also, if you named one person, you may want to choose co-trustees who would work together. You may also want to set up additional levels in case your first choice of trustee is unable to execute.
Estate Planning Review for Personal Property (Grandma’s Wedding Ring)
Is there a particular family heirloom or other item or property that you want to go to a specific person? You might now want to update your will or trust to make sure that happens. For example, Grandma’s wedding ring. Was someone supposed to get it? Often, the biggest estate fights are over personal property.
Review You Financial Power of Attorney
Your financial power of attorney will act for you in a wide array of financial and business matters. It is essential that you think about the person you named and make sure that you still consider them the best choice for you. The financial power of attorney document is often the most important document when planning for a loved one who needs long-term care because the document give the ability to move money around and set up asset protection trusts.
Review Your Estate Planning because of Health Changes
Review your health care power of attorney to make sure that the person (or people) you named is someone you still trust to make major medical decisions for you. If your health care power of attorney lives in another city or state, you might want to consider naming someone local in case of an emergency.
Life Insurance and Retirement Funds Estate Planning Review
While technically not a part of your estate plan, be sure to assess the choices you made as beneficiaries of your life insurance and retirement plans. Many people forget to update these after a divorce and you certainly don’t want your ex-spouse to inherit those funds.
The Next Step…
This checklist should take you quickly through some of the most important parts of your estate plan here in Michigan. If you need to update them, don’t delay. Procrastination is not your friend when it comes to estate planning! Join us a free LifeCare Planning Workshop to learn additional issues to consider as part of your estate planning review in Michigan. Secure your free workshop seat here