It is hard to believe that we are already at the end of 2013. It has been an exciting year for estate planning. In the first week of 2013, congress passed new legislation making the estate laws tax permanent. In many cases, the new laws have allowed for many families to simplify their estate plan.
As the year comes to a close, it is a good time to complete a quick tune-up of your estate plan to make sure you are ready for the New Year. Here is a short tune-up list to cover some of the basics:
- Confirm with your attorney that your estate plan is in conformity with the new laws passed in 2013;
- Consider simplifying your estate based on new tax laws with higher exemption amounts;
- Verify real estate records to make sure all real property is titled in the name of the trust or if you do not have a trust that a beneficiary deed has been prepared and recorded for each property, if appropriate;
- Check all financial assets to make sure each asset is either titled in the name of your trust or has a designated beneficiary designation;
- Review distribution provisions in your estate planning documents (or beneficiary designations) and contact your attorney if changes are desired;
- Look at your trustee and executor designations and make changes if needed;
- Ask questions if anything in your estate plan is unclear.
We hope that each of you have a happy New Year!
Corey J. Schmutz, Esq.