As 2015 comes to a close and 2016 gets closer, anyone who has an estate plan in the Treasure Coast area of Florida should take some time to go over a few year-end estate planning tips. Regardless of when you created a plan, or what tools you’ve decided to include in it, taking some time to go over your plan to make sure it still matches your needs and desires is worthwhile. If you have yet to do so, here are several year-end estate planning tips you might want to consider.
Year-End Estate Planning Tips. Personal Circumstances Review
A lot can happen in a year, and when something significant does occur you may need to update your estate plan to reflect the new circumstances. Some of these common changes include getting married or divorced, the birth of a child or grandchild, or the death of a relative or loved one that you had included in your inheritance plan.
Other changes may arise entirely from you or your wishes. If, for example, you created advance medical directives that included your medical wishes in the event you become incapacitated, you’ll want to review those to make sure they reflect your current desires. If you’ve changed your mind or decided to change your representative, you need to update your planning tools.
Year-End Estate Planning Tips. Legal Environment Review
Regardless of what has happened to you or your loved ones in the past year, the legal landscape may also have gone through changes of which you need to be aware. Legal changes can affect almost any part of your plan, but most commonly affect the financial aspects, such as tax planning strategies. While most changes in the law will have no effect on your plan, some changes may require you to take actions to protect yourself, while others will give you options you may not have had before. Talking to your attorney about any changes that affect you, or which might require you to change your plan, is always a good idea.
Year-End Estate Planning Tips. Gift Planning Review
Closely related to your financial picture is your gift giving plan. If you’ve developed an estate plan with your attorney that focuses on estate tax mitigation strategies, a gift-giving plan may very well be a key piece of it. Many gift plans utilize a year-end gifting strategy. If you have a gift plan you’ll want to make you give your gifts on time. Alternately, if you’ve experienced a significant change in financial circumstances over the past year you may need to speak to your attorney about amending a pre-existing plan, or incorporating such a plan if you don’t already have one.