Thanks to posterity. 2018 is here with us. The time of the year again when we design a new year resolution and pray that such resolutions are not confined to the waste-bin of history. Some resolutions just amount to chipping at the granite of the year with a pen knife. There is no dearth of materials on what your resolution should be in 2018 ranging from work, to health to religion and so on.
While all these resolutions are good, we, at Radix Trustees Ltd dare to say that your cocktail of resolutions is incomplete without your Estate Plan. Why? Everything you have worked for over the years may end up in wrong hands, decimated or misappropriated in case of your incapacity or any other eventuality that we do not pray for.
You could make a Medical Power of Attorney and arrange for guardianship of your children if something happens to you. You can also make a Will and maybe a Trust, and organize your financial information.
It sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? But it is not that difficult to start. Here are few things you can do to finally get your estate plan done in 2018.
Organise your finances
You need to know more about what you have and what you want. This will enable you plan for you and your family without unnecessary borrowings or spendings. Make a simple list of your bank accounts, retirement and investment accounts, and insurance policies. You should also make a list of your debts and loans. If there is anything you should do more this year, it is making your money work for you and no less.
Make some critical decisions
Who would be responsible for the wellbeing of your children if you are unable to? Who should make financial or medical decisions for you in case of incapacitation? You don’t have to have a ready answer before scheduling a consultation with an expert to have your Plan drawn up, but it’s helpful to think about it in advance.
Don’t just get a lawyer, get an expert
Estate planning is complicated, and you will probably have a lot of questions and concerns. Estate Planners are trained to recognize your specific areas of risk and to educate you so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family. Knowledge is power. If you are thinking of a wise method of investing and saving for the future, then it is best to get professional Estate Planners like Radix Trustees.
Get a basic Plan
While your Estate may indeed be quite complicated. You can actually start basic. The most basic of Estate Planning is better than nothing. There is no crime in starting simple. Get a Will, a Power of Attorney, and some health care planning documents. Make sure that your documents reflect your wishes- you want to control who receives your assets or who has control over them and over you if you’re incapacitated. These documents will save you a lot of money in court and attorney fees if you are incapacitated or you are no longer there.
Update your Beneficiaries’ List
The best-drafted will in the world can’t change your beneficiary designations, so make sure you tick the checkbox to make sure your life insurance, retirement accounts, and other financial assets will be passing to the people you want them to go to.
Review your plan periodically
Life goes on after you get your estate plan completed. It’s a good idea to check in with your Estate Planner every few years to make sure your plan still reflects your wishes. Major life changes are also a good time to check in births, marriages, deaths, divorces, retirement, and moving to another state as they are all examples of the types of events that should trigger an estate plan review. If it’s been a few years since you got your estate plan done, make an appointment with your Estate Planner to get your check-up.
In sum, one thing you must not do with your plan is to procrastinate. It is a dangerous cesspit you must not fall into. Remember, a man that does not plan for the future he wants will have to endure the one he gets.