We are just days into 2022. And, as always, when we reach this time of year, it is time to plan for the year ahead. Now is a good time to check in with your estate plan to secure yours and your loved ones’ future.
Check your beneficiary designations. Your estate plan is not a one-and-done type of deal. Live-changing events happen, and it is important to stay mindful as to how your estate plan may be affected by such events. For example, one of the major factors affecting your plan is the birth of a child. To protect your child, parents should not only take care of the child's immediate basic needs but also plan for the care of your minor should anything happen to you.
Review your assets. Assets change over time. If you've recently bought a home – first of all, congratulations! – it should be included in your plan as it is probably one of the biggest investments of your life. If you don’t have a habit of monitoring your long-term investments closely, remember to check in with your financial investments as well.
Decide when to make large gifts. If you were planning on making large gifts this Holiday season, now is a good time to consider the timing of making them. Remember that every year each individual is entitled to make gifts without incurring gift tax or using any of their lifetime applicable exclusion amount against estate and gift tax. The annual tax exemption is $15,000 per done in 2021. This exemption will increase to $16,000 in 2022. Lifetime gift and inheritance tax exemption, which is currently set at $11.7 million, will increase to $12.06 million in 2022 (but is scheduled to return to $5 million in 2026). Plan your gifts accordingly.
Discuss your estate plan with your family. You will be spending time with your family these days, so why not set aside some of your time to review and discuss your estate plan with the key family members? After all, this financial instrument concerns them as much as (if not more than) you.
Get peace of mind. Careful estate planning can help you avoid probate (put the court in charge of the distribution of your assets) and minimize your family’s financial stress after your passing. Follow this checklist to find some peace of mind and enjoy your Holidays!
There is no better time to start working on this than now. Most financial advisors recommend starting an estate plan as soon as you become a legal adult. My office can help you develop an estate plan that suits your specific needs at this point of your life. With years of experience in the field, I will guide you through the entire process from A to Z.
Contact my office today for a free consultation, and we'll discuss how you can protect your loved ones and preserve your legacy.
Spending one-on-one time with each of your children (even if it's only 15 minutes a day) can improve family dynamics and significantly reduce stress for both of you. Do this in the morning before things get hectic. Enjoy how your child's eyes light up at this time. These are the moments that your children (and you) will remember and treasure for a lifetime!