New Year Estate Planning To-Dos

Victoria L. Howard

Author: Victoria L. Howard

POST DATE: 1.19.22
Ccha  Estate Planning

Happy new year! It’s officially 2022 and, for many, a much-needed clean slate. As we leave 2021 behind us, getting our estate planning in order should be a top priority. CCHA is here to cover four new-year to-dos.

If you don’t have an estate plan, establish one

If you do not already have a comprehensive estate plan, you are not alone. A recent study found that approximately 50-60% of Americans don't have a will.. If you are among those without a complete estate plan, start by asking your financial advisor, accountant, or friends and family members for a referral. The estate planning team at CCHA is here to help with your comprehensive estate planning services, from wills and trusts, to advance directives, business succession planning, gift taxes, charitable planning and more.

There’s often a misconception that estate planning is cumbersome and time-consuming. CCHA works to ensure your estate plan is as comprehensive and thorough from the start, so that any maintenance to it over time requires less time and effort on your part.

While discussions around mortality can be uncomfortable, having these basic decisions made and documented can better prepare survivors to better understand your intentions, helping reduce tension between and among your heirs.

In helping you properly navigate your estate plan, we will want to work with you to confirm how each of your assets is actually owned. To do so, we can assist you with getting a copy of the deed for any real estate you own, reviewing statements for your accounts, reviewing written confirmation of the owner and beneficiary for your life insurance policies, and reviewing beneficiary designation for retirement accounts you possess. If you own businesses, it is important for us to review corporate documents, such as Shareholder Agreements or Operating Agreements, as well to make sure these fit appropriately with your estate plan.

Ccha january 2022 new year fresh start BLOG

If your estate plan is more than a year old

If you already have an estate plan, CCHA can help with making sure your plan is up to date. Specifically, when you have experienced a change in life circumstances such as a death in the family, divorce, or the birth of a new family member, it is a good time to make sure your estate plan still meets your needs.

One of the most important updates to make it to any changes in your beneficiaries. For example, if your previously-appointed beneficiary has passed, update your estate plan to reflect a different beneficiary.

It is also important to revisit important roles (i.e. Personal Representative, Trustee, Durable Power of Attorney, etc.). Any changes that need to be made to these fiduciaries should be fairly straightforward when it comes to adjusting your estate planning documents.

Contact CCHA with your estate planning needs and questions

The estate planning team at CCHA has a long history of assisting families in transitioning their estates to family members in an efficient and tax-effective manner. No matter your specific needs, our attorneys will help you develop an estate plan that is tailored to meet your unique goals, expectations, and family circumstances.