There are five common areas that will need attention and approaches for you to address them to ensure you have a solid plan in place this year.

  1. Establish health care directives to avoice being unprepared: This allows you to decide what kind of care you want and helps avoid any type of unnecessary suffering when you have the appropriate response plans and documentation in place.
  2. Create a will: This is one of the most important documents to protect yourself and your family but one of the most frequently postposed documents to put in writing. Your will protects you and ensures that your future wishes for your estate are carried out. If you don’t have a will, you won’t have an input about how your property is distributed after death. Wills are editable, just get it started.
  3. Ensure your will and beneficiaries are updated with each life change. Be sure to update your will with any life changing event. For example, change your beneficiary to your spouse when you get married instead of your brother, sister, or parent. Proceeds from life insurance, 401(k) plans, and IRAs are being left to the wrong beneficiaries because the owners neglected to update them. Life events: Marriage, divorce, birth, death, and other major life events. (Note: Beneficiary designations on IRAs and retirement plans supersede what’s stated in a will or trust, so it’s crucial to ensure they’re up-to-date.)
  4. Regularly review legal/liability documents. Your wishes, preferences, and outlooks on life can change, review your documents at least once a year to ensure you’re prepared for the future.
  5. Have an estate plan. It’s important to have a comprehensive plan in place for how your money and other assets should be distributed when needed. Regularly review your plan and ensure you have the fundamentals in place.

(Information courtesy of Tampa Bay Business Journal article by Paul Allen, Wealth Strategies Partners on November 29, 2019.) To check out the full article, click here.