Let's do an end-of-year review! If it's been a while since you've updated your estate plan, here is your reminder. It's a good idea to put this task in your calendar every year around this time to coincide with your other financial end-of-year tasks, like reviewing your investments and making any charitable donations and retirement plan contributions. That way, your estate plan is continually updated, and any life changes that have happened throughout the year can be accounted for before the next year. Remember, your estate plan is not a static document - it needs to change along with you.
To help, here's a handy checklist you can use every year to make sure you've covered any changes that need to be made. If, after review, you need to make changes to any of your estate planning documents or have had one or more of these life changes and need to know how that could affect your estate plan, please schedule a time for us to talk.
What to review:
- Who you've chosen to make decisions for your assets if you are no longer able to or pass away.
- Who you've chosen to make decisions for your healthcare if you cannot.
- That your distribution requests still align with your vision.
- That all of your current assets are properly coordinated to your estate plan.
Examples of life changes that could affect your estate plan:
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Death of a spouse
- House purchase
- House sale
- Buying a business
- Sale of a business
- Move to a different state
- Change of a bank account
- Big change in your financial status
- New pet
- A young beneficiary turns into an adult
- New investment or retirement accounts
- Change of a trusted professional
Important estate planning note:
Keep in mind that the laws change, and one particular law is on the horizon to change in the next two years. Our Federal Gift and Estate Tax (FET) Exemption is going up to $13,600,000 per person in 2024 and should increase again in 2025 until December 31, 2025, when the 2017 Tax Relief Act sunsets at the end of the day. At that point, we may have a significant reduction in the FET down to approximately $7.5 million per person, as finally determined by the federal government if no new laws come into effect.
For those with large estates, it's time to start talking about taking advantage of the wealth preservation strategies that make sense for you and your family. These strategies can take months to discuss and implement, so don't wait until the last minute or even the last few months of 2025. Start having the conversation sooner rather than later with your advisors. Here at Sundvick Legacy Center, I'm here to help my clients navigate the myriad of changes and challenges through life and in the law.