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A New Year: A Time to Review

As we enter 2013, it is a good time to review your estate planning so that it remains effective.   Here are some of things that you may want to consider:

  • Did you purchase any new assets or make any new investments last year?  Did you title those assets or investments in your family trust?  If not, and you need assistance, contact us.
  • Did you purchase any life insurance or establish an individual retirement account? If so, do the beneficiary designations properly reflect your estate plan?  With respect to retirement accounts, if you want to allow the IRA to “stretch” out over your beneficiaries’ life expectancies there are certain rules that must be followed to allow the planning in your trust to remain effective.  These rules can be complex.   We can meet with you to discuss these rules in more depth and let your beneficiaries receive the benefit of deferred tax-free growth.
  • Have you filled out your List Disposing of Your Tangible Personal Property?  Many people forget to fill out or update their list.  If you have a special item of jewelry that you want your granddaughter or daughter to have, you need to make sure that you write it on the on the list and sign the list.   Make sure any updated lists are sent to us so we have it with your file.
  • Have circumstances changed?  Maybe you have new children or grandchildren that may need to be named in your documents.  Maybe a named beneficiary has died or the named guardians for your minor children have divorced.  Review your estate planning documents to make sure that they still accurately reflect your desires.
  • Have you established a new business or are thinking of establishing a new business?  Your family trust should be the owner of the business.  In addition, you may want to consider they type of entity that would best meet your needs. 

If you need any assistance with any of the above items or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

We wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Attorney Richard T. Cunningham