November 27, 2014
Authored by: Stephanie Moll and Tiffany McKenzie
Happy Thanksgiving from the Private Client group at Bryan Cave!
Now is the time everyone comes together to remember what they’re thankful for this year. In conjunction with being thankful for the blessings in our lives, it also is a good time to review your estate planning goals, such as the following:
- Have you retained enough cash flow for you (and your spouse) in order to maintain your standard of living and provide you with security for your lifetimes?
- Have you provided for your surviving spouse so he or she will be taken care of after you’re gone?
- Have you prepared a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets upon divorce? See our post on Prenuptial Agreements.
- Have you protected your children (or other beneficiaries) by protecting their inheritance from creditors? See our post on Creditor’s Rights.
- Have you protected your children (or other beneficiaries) by reducing your taxable estate and, ultimately, any estate tax due at your death, which will increase the amount ultimately passing to your beneficiaries?
- Have you protected any special needs child by creating a special needs trust that will not affect the child’s eligibility for any necessary government assistance he or she may need? See our post on Planning For Special Needs.
- Have you provided enough liquidity in your estate to pay any estate taxes that are due at your death?
- Have you protected your grandchildren (and more remote descendants) by providing for the passage of assets from generation-to-generation without transfer tax, ultimately increasing the amount available for future generations?
- Have you made provision for any charitable gifts you wish to make? See our post on Deduction Rules for Charitable Gifts.
- Have you assisted your loved-ones in finding both your physical and digital assets? See our post on Treasure Maps.
- Have you named someone to make your financial and healthcare decisions should you be unable to make them for yourself? See our post on Planning the End that you Want.
- Have you specified your healthcare treatment preferences if you are in a terminal condition or state of unconsciousness? See our post on Planning with POLST.
- Have you named a guardian for your children should you be unable to care for them?
If any of these goals apply to you, but you feel they haven’t been addressed in your current estate planning documents (or you don’t have any current estate planning documents) be sure to contact your attorney to make the necessary changes to make sure your goals are addressed!