Whether you’re starting from scratch or revisiting your estate plan, the beginning of the year is a great time to take control of your financial future. Not only for the coming months, but for the legacy you want to leave behind. In this blog post, we’ll explore why creating or updating your Maryland estate plan should be on your list of resolutions and provide practical tips for creating a comprehensive and meaningful plan.
1.) Assessing Your Current Estate Plan:
- Reflecting on Changes: The new year often brings about changes in our lives – be it in our family structure, financial situation, or personal preferences. Take a moment to assess how these changes might impact your existing estate plan.
- Legal Updates: Stay informed about any recent legal changes that could affect your estate planning, ensuring your documents align with the latest law and regulations.
2. Setting Clear Objectives:
- Defining Your Legacy: What do you want your legacy to be? Whether it’s providing for your loved ones, supporting charitable causes, or preserving family traditions, clearly define your objectives to guide your estate planning decisions.
- Communicating Intentions: Open communication with family members about your estate planning intentions can prevent misunderstandings and ensure your wishes are known and respected.
3. Updating Beneficiaries and Personal Representative:
- Reviewing Beneficiary Designations: Life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other financial instruments often have designated beneficiaries. Ensure these align with your current wishes and circumstances.
- Choosing the Right Personal Representative: Selecting a trustworthy and capable personal representative is crucial. Evaluate whether your chosen individual is still the right fit for the responsibilities involved.
4. Protecting Your Assets:
- Asset Inventory: Take stock of your assets, including real estate, investments, and valuable possessions. Organize and update this inventory regularly.
- Minimizing Tax Implications: Explore strategies to minimize tax liabilities for your estate, potentially preserving more of your assets for your heirs.
5. Incorporating Healthcare Directives:
- Advance Healthcare Directive: Ensure your healthcare wishes are documented and legally binding in case of incapacitation. Appoint a trusted individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if necessary.
6. Regular Reviews and Revisions:
- Annual Check-ins: Make it a habit to revisit and update your estate plan annually or whenever significant life events occur.
- Professional Guidance: Consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure your estate plan remains comprehensive and effective.
Embarking on the journey of creating or updating your Maryland estate plan in the new year is a proactive step toward securing your financial legacy and providing peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. Here’s to a new year and a new estate plan that reflects your evolving priorities and ensures a lasting impact for generations to come. To speak to an attorney at Jacobson Family Law about beginning or updating your estate plan, schedule a consultation with us by calling 443-741-1147 or scheduling an appointment online today.