Year End Estate Planning Checklist

Dec 27, 2018


Massive amounts of money have been lost due to poor Estate Planning and out of date documents. With the end of the year around the corner and with the holiday season in full effect, Estate Planning is probably not a top priority for you right now. Understandably, many of us look for any reason to procrastinate on this matter, but the holidays bring families who may live far apart together. Although this is not a festive, cheerful topic, it is important that your loved ones understand your Estate Plan. When it comes to Estate Planning, open communication will help avoid confusion, family conflict, and probate and tax consequences.

Here is a simple checklist of important things to consider in your planning:

  • Life Changes
    This would include marriage, divorce, remarriage, the birth of a child, death or disability of a family member, or moving to another state and these would all require you to reexamine and update your Estate Plan.
  • Complete the Funding of your Trust
    Make sure your assets (real estate, bank accounts, stocks, business interests, etc.) are retitled in the name of your trust.
  • Power of Attorney
    Make sure your Power of Attorney is up to date with your current preferences. Additionally, some healthcare providers reject ones that are more than a few years old.
  • Beneficiary Designations
    Make sure your Will/Trust names any beneficiaries you want, including friends, family members, a trust or charity. Do not name your estate as beneficiary; that could cause your heirs to lose important income tax benefits.
  • New Tax Laws
    If there have been changes to any tax laws, make sure that your Estate Plan takes these changes into account.
  • Choose a guardian for children who are minors or have special needs.
    It is a commonly incorrect belief that you can just ask a relative or friend to step in as a guardian if needed. Without your wishes in a will, a court usually decides who takes over for you.

If you would like to request a FREE Estate Planning consultation, give us a call at 508-998-8800, email or contact us here on our site.

Atty. Tenney Lantz
F. Tenney Lantz is an attorney and a Certified Veterans Specialist for Lantz Law Inc, specializing in Estate Planning and Medicaid. She is admitted to practice before all courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association. She has helped many families with protecting their wealth from nursing homes and preserving it for future generations.
Atty. Michael Coleman
Attorney Michael Coleman earned his Juris Doctor degree from Hofstra School of Law. He is also a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. Attorney Coleman focuses his practice on various Estate Planning, estate administration, probate, retirement planning, and real estate matters. Lantz Law, Inc. has served the communities of Southcoast, South Shore, Cape Cod, and the Islands since 1969.

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