Every year, many people make New Year’s resolutions. If you intend to make a New Year’s resolution, consider a resolution that would benefit your family and resolve to update your estate plan or if you don’t have an estate plan, to complete one in 2016.

A review of your estate plan should include verifying that you have the basic estate planning documents in place and that they are valid and still make sense for your family.

When reviewing your estate plan, consider the following questions regarding your will:

      Do you have a will? If not, consider scheduling an appointment soon to have your will drafted.
      Is your will valid? For example:
        Have you moved to a different state? If so, verify that your will is valid in your new state.
        Have you gotten married? If so, your will may not be valid any longer unless it was written in contemplation of marriage.
      Have you gotten divorced? If so, did you change the beneficiary on your life insurance, retirement accounts, etc., to someone other than your ex-spouse?
      Are the executors and trustees named in your will still able to serve in this capacity?
      Are the guardians named in your will still able to serve, and/or are they still the best choice for guardianship?
      Do any of the beneficiaries in your will have health conditions that may make a special needs trust necessary to protect their gift?
      Have your financial circumstances changed substantially? If so, does your will accommodate your new situation?
      Are any of your named beneficiaries deceased?

For your power of attorney:

      Do you have a power of attorney?
      Are the agents named in your power of attorney still able to serve in this capacity, and are they still good choices to hold power of attorney?

For your advanced healthcare directive (Living will/durable healthcare directive):

      Do you have an advanced healthcare directive?
      Are the agents named in your healthcare directive still able to serve in this capacity, and are they still good choices to make medical decisions?

If you determine that your estate plan is not current or insufficiently covers your family, or if you haven’t prepared an estate plan, you should visit an attorney to discuss revision or creation of an estate plan. Each individual’s needs are unique and this article only provides a brief, general introduction to considerations when reviewing your estate plan. At Grissom Law, LLC, we will always meet with you to review your circumstances and recommend a plan to best address your individual circumstances. Call us today at (678)781-9230 or email us at sgrissom@grissomlawfirm.com to schedule an appointment.