Before we head into the always-busy holiday season, why not make a few end of year resolutions? Specifically, why not make a few legal and financial end of year resolutions? Here’s a check list of realistic goals you can set and easily meet before we ring in the new year.
Taking it Tax Free
Did you know you can give up to $13,000 to as many people as you wish every year? It’s true – and if your estate is big, you know how crucial it is to take advantage of estate tax reductions. Not only that, but any charitable gifts, tuition and medical expenses are unlimited. Married? If so, double those figures.
Estate Planning Revisions
Have you been putting off estate planning in New York NY? If you don’t have a game plan or if you haven’t reviewed your estate plan in a while, now’s the time to make it a priority. An estate planning attorney is the ideal partner since he knows the legal hurdles and red flags – and he can recommend options you might not know you have.
From estate divisions, power of attorney documents to financial planning, it’s an intricate network that’s only as good as your commitment, which is why an attorney will shoulder the details. Remember – you can change your estate plan should your needs change later.
Documents that address medical considerations should have top priority. With new laws, including HIPPA regulations and stricter privacy laws, these decisions have taken on a new urgency for all of us. Securing a durable power of attorney for health care as well as proper HIPPA authorizations ensures your wishes are met should you become incapacitated for any reason. Without them, the potential for problems is almost certain.
Bringing Up Baby
Nothing is more important than our children. Who you choose as a guardian should it become necessary will affect their lives forever. People change and life can deal some brutal hands to guardians you might have chosen in the past. Your named guardian may have taken a path that you no longer agree with. That person may have moved away, become an addict or just may no longer be interested in the possibility of raising kids. Not naming a guardian isn’t an option, either, since the courts will decide. This is a decision you and your spouse should make. Review those documents and make necessary changes.
While not the most pleasant of conversation topics, you should still get your family together to discuss your estate plan. It’s important that they know where to find your will and other estate plan documents. It’s not necessary to go into a lot of detail, but just touch base so that you’re all on the same page.
Finally, pull all of your insurance policies and give them a review. Are you carrying enough homeowners insurance? What about life insurance policies? With the new healthcare laws going into effect, and especially with the disappointing rollout of Obamacare, don’t forget to check into how it affects your current policies.
Getting these legal bases covered can allow you and your family to move into the new year knowing you’ve done all you can to prepare for the future. Remember, your estate planning lawyer is there to help you find the right balance for your situation.