So much of the world feels somewhere between Transition and Chaos. Covid is still rolling for 2 plus years: as have the economic impact that has caused: food, gas, and other prices are sweeping up in hyper inflation, the Russians having 100,000 troops on the Ukraine border, and China is threatening Taiwan. All of this makes our heads feel like we are spinning. Like we have been too long stuck on a roller coaster.
What about your Estate Plan? It may seem small in the world picture, but it is important to you and your loved ones. What do you need to remember:
1) Do you still have the right HELPERS in place? The people chosen to help you if you get sick, to help handle your affairs and assets after you are gone?
2) Are all of your ASSETS TITLED in your Trust? All of your assets that have titles, are they titled in your Trust? Assets like your vehicles, house, bank accounts, investment accounts, and anything else with a title. If it is an investment that moves by Death Beneficiary, (like Retirement Accounts, Life Insurance, CDs, Annuities, or something else), make sure you have the right Primary Beneficiary named, then make sure you have named the proper Contingent Beneficiary.
3) Does your Trust have MENTAL DISABILITY PLANNING? Planning that provides for what happens to you if you get to where you cannot handle your affairs due to a stroke, dementia, or closed head injury from a fall or car wreck. You need that Planning as some large percentage of us will lose our mental ability to handle our affairs.
- Who decides if you need help?
- What mechanism is there in your Trust to turn on that type of Planning?
- Who handles your affairs when you can’t?
- How do you stay out of the Court system to do this?
- How have you set your controls in case this happens?
- How do you want to be cared for?
- How do you want your money handled?
- Do you want to stay at home as long as possible?
- If you must be in a care facility, who chooses that place?
4) What about the proposed TAX BILL? The proposed Tax Bill could double Capital Gains Taxes, eliminate the Step Up in Basis on Death for Capital Gains Taxes, and put the onerous Estate Tax back on the middle class. For now that Bill is stalled, but it is still being pushed to try to pass it into law.
We know we can’t individually control all that is happening in the world. But we control what we can control. We also know our “Zone of Control” is small, but we can focus on what is in front of us. And we keep our Estate Plan working as we wanted it to work when the time comes.