Longwood Florida Attorneys
New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

Now that we’ve put 2020 behind us and are contemplating what needs to be done, it is time to look at all we hope to accomplish in 2021. Hopefully, you’ve already stored away your holiday treasures, written your Thank You notes for the goodies you received and planned how you are going to address those extra holiday pounds you enjoyed acquiring. What next? Have you set up your estate plan? And if you haven’t looked at your estate plan or don’t know where in the world it could be found, now is the time to examine it to determine if any changes need to be made.

What sort of life changes need to be considered when evaluating your estate plan? Have there been any births or deaths that change your planned distributions after your death? If you have a minor or a disabled offspring that should have a designated caregiver for their person and or property in the event something untimely causes you to be unable to care for the child? Have any of your children or grandchildren turned eighteen? And have any of those young people married, moved or made changes in their life that make you worry about how a bequest might impact them? Are any of your family members receiving governmental assistance due to disability? If so, would a bequest made directly to them cause the beneficiary to lose valuable benefits that were very difficult to obtain and would be painful to lose? Have you considered any and all veterans benefits that you or your spouse might need when you are older? Have you set aside funds to pay for your funeral and have you let your loved ones know whether you want to be cremated or buried? Are you or your spouse entitled to free burial at a national cemetery? Have you decided whether or not to be an organ donor and decided what if any body parts you would want harvested to help someone else live well?

Who would you trust to make sure that your wishes are carried out in the event you are brain injured or too ill to make your own decisions? Who would you trust to ensure that your wishes are followed after your death? Have you considered any tax consequences of leaving your pension plan to someone other than your spouse or in the event your spouse doesn’t survive you? Did you realize that new laws impact IRAs, 401ks and other pension plans and that those plans may no longer be rolled over for your children to enjoy during their own retirement? Have you thought about both positive and negative consequences of investment decisions you made with loved ones in mind? Have you thought about what might happen to your life savings if your surviving spouse remarries?

Do you have children from another relationship other than with your current spouse? Are you aware that without a will, your current spouse may well have to share your estate with those children and may not be able to sell the home you share together without permission from your adult children or a court appointed guardian for your child? Have you executed a power of attorney naming someone you trust to make medical and financial decisions in the event you are can’t make those decisions for yourself? Did you realize that you can make decisions about how much or how little your designated agent can do, but did you realize that the power of attorney dies when you die?

If all this leaves you breathless and if you haven’t stopped reading because this New Year’s Resolution thing is for the birds and this is all too much for one person to think about, now is the time to call us to start the ball rolling to check this resolution off your list and get back to enjoying life!

We LOVE estate planning! We LOVE finding ways to help our clients ensure their wishes are followed when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Don’t wait until you are no longer well enough to make decisions for yourself. Make 2021 the year you get your estate plan organized. We’ll be glad to help you.


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