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New Year’s Resolution: Estate Planning?

The new year is the ideal time to start fresh and decide on some positive changes you want to make in your life. You may want to eat healthier, pick up a new hobby, or kick a bad habit. Here’s another idea to add to your list of resolutions: establishing an estate plan.

Start the year off right by protecting your future and your loved ones. This new year, consider working with an estate planning attorney to create an estate plan. 

Take Charge and Protect Your Legacy in the New Year

If you don’t plan for your future, no one else will. When you fail to plan for significant life events, like incapacity and death, you’re leaving things up to chance. Your loved ones will have to deal with the repercussions of your inaction, creating unnecessary trouble and strife. 

Instead, take charge of your future and protect your legacy. Not only will this give you immeasurable peace of mind, but it will also ensure your loved ones are provided for no matter what. 

Estate Planning Resolutions

When it comes to estate planning, there are so many tasks to complete. But do not feel overwhelmed — an estate planning attorney can help. 

The following resolutions can get you on your way to planning for your future and creating a strong estate plan. 

Take Inventory of Your Assets and Review Your List of Beneficiaries

There is no estate plan without assets and beneficiaries. Therefore, start by reviewing your assets and beneficiaries in the new year.

Go over your property, assets, and finances. Gather any documents you may need to create your estate plan with an estate planning attorney.

Additionally, refine your list of beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries can include family members, like parents, kids, and spouses, but also certain entities and organizations. 

Then, combine this information and think about what assets will go to which beneficiaries. 

Create Your Will

A last will and testament, also simply known as a will, is one of the most important parts of an estate plan. Within this document, you can detail where your property and assets will go, choose a personal representative, and make provisions for your children and pets, among other things. 

Additionally, you may also want to create a living will, which differs from a regular will. In your living will, also known as an advanced healthcare directive, you can make medical decisions for yourself should you become incapacitated. This leaves the power in your hands and relieves your loved ones of having to make tough decisions. 

Establish a Trust

A trust is a legal document that creates a fiduciary relationship between the trustee and beneficiaries. Creating a trust gives you control over what your beneficiaries will receive, as well as when and how. There are several different types of trusts to choose from, depending on your needs, including revocable trusts, special needs trusts, and spendthrift trusts. 

Consider What Other Estate Planning Documents You Need

Estate plans aren’t one-size-fits-all. What you need to include in your estate plan is based on your wants and needs. An estate planning attorney can get to know you and your situation and provide personalized guidance to help you establish a strong plan.

If You Already Have an Estate Plan, Make Necessary Modifications

Estate planning resolutions are still important, even if you have an estate plan. Instead of creating a plan, you can focus on reviewing and editing your documents. Estate planning documents require regular maintenance, especially after significant life events like births, marriages, and moves. 

Take the time to go over all of your estate planning documents to ensure the information is correct and your wishes remain the same. 

Get Help With Your New Year’s Estate Planning Resolutions From an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

New year, new plan. Allow an estate planning attorney to assist you with documenting your future wishes and protecting your loved ones. 

The estate planning lawyers at OC Wills and Trusts work with clients in Orange County, CA, and the surrounding areas. Contact our firm today to get started.

Brian Chew, the managing partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, and veterans’ benefits. By devoting his practice to estate planning matters, he has founded a firm that strives to provide exceptional service to their clients by working closely with individuals and their families to create comprehensive and customized estate plans. For the past twenty five years, Brian has served thousands of clients in the matters of estate planning, wills and trusts. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Brian Chew here.