With the new year upon us, it’s a good time to make sure your plans for the future are up to date and you have the proper tools in place. With that in mind, we encourage you to consider the five estate planning tips below.

1.     Make sure your will and estate planning documents are up to date. The primary purpose of these is to distribute your property to your chosen beneficiaries after your death. Be sure to name a Personal Representative (executor) who will manage and settle your estate and a Trustee to manage any trusts that may exist.

2.     Create an Advanced Medical Directive to let others know what medical treatment you would want and a Health Care Power of Attorney to allow a specific person to make decisions on your behalf. Consult an estate planning attorney for more information and guidance.

3.     Create a Healthcare Power of Attorney for your adult children, particularly as they leave for college, so that you can speak to doctors as an agent for your child.

4.     Create a General Power of Attorney, also known as a Financial Power of Attorney, to appoint a specific person to represent you in making decisions should you become incapacitated.

5.     Check the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts and insurance policies. Are they up to date and allocated the way you desire?

If you have questions about your plans for the future and what is needed during life and after death, please consult your wealth manager and an estate planning attorney today.