Is your estate plan outdated? Yes or no.
If you don’t have a valid will or trust, then state laws will determine how your assets pass, to whom they pass, and when they pass. This is perhaps the most costly and emotionally draining way to pass assets to your loved ones.
Leaving the distribution of your assets to state law could lead to unnecessary estate and income taxes, your estate being consumed by creditors, your estate being tied up in probate court (possibly for years…), and other undesired results. If you desire greater control (don’t we all?), take this quiz to see if your estate plan would benefit from some adjustments or a complete overhaul.
- Has your Will or Trust been professionally reviewed in the last three years?
- Does your current Health Care Power of Attorney permit the person of your choosing (spouse, child, family) to make emergency health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so?
- Does your estate plan contain a customized plan to determine if you are mentally disabled?
- Does your current estate plan give instructions for your care and the care of your loved ones in the event of disability?
- Are you certain that your current estate plan will minimize possible federal and state estate taxes at your death, including taxes on your house, life insurance and IRAs?
- If you have a Revocable Living Trust in place as part of your estate plan, is your trust fully funded so that your family can avoid the delays and expenses of probate?
- Have you taken steps to avoid possible will contests and disputes during the administration of your estate?
- Does your estate plan protect your children’s inheritance in the event your surviving spouse chooses to remarry?
- Have you recently checked the beneficiary designations of your retirement plans and life insurance policies, and are you confident you have not listed your estate or any minor children as either primary or secondary beneficiaries?
- Does your current estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection for assets passed to your surviving spouse?
- Does your current estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection for assets passed to your children?
- Are you confident that your current estate plan is income tax efficient?
- Does your current plan protect your children’s inheritance from a divorcing spouse?
- Are you satisfied with the persons you named as guardians of your minor children in your current plan?
- Have you named temporary guardians for your minor children? Have you left your children’s guardians detailed instructions?
- Are you satisfied that any special needs children or persons who depend on you will be properly cared for?
- Are you satisfied with the persons selected as executor and trustee in your current estate plan?
- Are you confident that your executor, power of attorney, and successor trustee are prepared to act on your behalf when asked to?