Happy New Year! Five Essential Estate Planning Goals

Written by Robert T. Nickerson

It’s now 2019. We like to see January 1 as the beginning of something good. This is the time to look into the clutter and figure out what needs to be cleaned up and up to date. One of those things should be your estate plan. Even if this is something that can’t be done today or tomorrow, when is a good time to do this. Here are five easy things you can accomplish to have a better ease of mind for your estate plan.
1. Sign your Estate plan.
You’d be surprised by how often a lot of people put off something simple as using a pen to make the estate plan official. Perhaps now is a good time to give your attorney a call to get that out of the way. Let’s give you a situation; someone close to you has just passed away. You’d probably get into contact with whoever did your estate plan to ensure that everything was good to go for their plan and yours. Any will and trust attorney will be able to meet, discuss, redraft, and finalize those ideas, get it down on paper, and be ready for you to dot the line. All you’d have to do then is sign and you could better in a better state of ease.

2. Call Your Attorney if you have nothing planned
Now is the best time to look through your local directory or even Google search to figure out how to serve your needs the best. Yes, getting around to making these decisions can be difficult, but it’s better to tackle the stuff now rather then face a flood of problem in the long run.

3. Be sure your have the right successors on paper
If you do have something prepared, you may want to get them out the check and see if the people set to run your estate are still the people you want. This also includes personal representatives, doctors, lawyers, and anyone else you see playing a key figure. You want the right people making the right decisions if something should happen to you.

4. Think about your beneficiaries
Did you name your spouse as a beneficiary? What about your brother or your sister? Your children maybe? Just somebody that you want to receive something? Now is the time to look into your bank and retirement accounts to see who is a confirmed beneficiary as what you have down on an estate plan may not be in sync with your financial department. Make sure that your institution is aware of who you want as a beneficiary.

5. Write a digital asset instruction letter
Law offices typically have this form and your attorney can help write one with you. In this day and age, people use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and a variety of types of social media, along with the login information for other useful websites like banking, health care providers, online shopping, and more. If your one of these people who like to stay connected, then you should let the people you want to have a way to gather that information of usernames and passwords once your gone. You’ll have to decide that if you have an Instagram account whether you want it closed or not once your gone. If you figure this stuff out in advance, your family and friends will know what their supposed to do. 
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