In the wake of the current state of affairs, the coming weeks may be a good time to ask yourself these questions about your existing estate plan and heath care documents.
Where are your documents located? Be sure to know where your original estate planning and health care documents are located, and that you are able to access them the case of an emergency.
Who has access to your documents? Make sure your loved ones or nominated agents know where your original documents are and can access them if the need arises. It is for this reason I advise that you should never keep your documents in a safety deposit box. I recommend keeping your original documents in a fireproof safe in your home, and that you have digital copies as well.
Do your estate planning and health care documents still reflect your intent? Generally, I advise my clients to review their estate planning documents every few years to ensure their plan still comports to their wishes. Life events, such as marriage, a new child or grandchild, or divorce, necessitate updates to your estate plan. Additionally, changes in your financial or other goals, and changes to state and federal law, are other reasons to update your plan. When you review your documents, make sure the persons you have nominated as your agents are still people you would like in those roles, and that the documents still ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and loved ones are cared for.
Are your retirement and life insurance beneficiaries still correct? While sometimes overlooked, retirement benefit and life insurance beneficiary designations are a critical part of your estate plan. If you have experienced any life changes since the last time your beneficiary designations were made, you may need to update them to conform with your estate plan.
If you have questions about your current estate plan, or if you do not have a plan in place at this time, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (971) 266-0132 to schedule a consultation.