To plan for the distribution of your estate at death involves thinking about the very intricacies of your life. You think about your loved ones and your values; the most important things in your life. Then there is the nitty-gritty you might be overlooking: the financial, the legal, and the shared understandings you have made along the way. It’s a time for deep introspection as well as a time to ponder what you might be overlooking as you put your plan on paper. Even then, remember: it’s revocable. After all, plans change, circumstances change and people change so your plan likely needs to change too.
The bits and pieces that are easiest to overlook are the kinds of things best uncovered by some friendly self-interrogation. To help get that conversation started, consider reading a recent article in US News & World Report titled “3 Important Estate Planning Questions.”
These three questions are really only a start, but they are good ones, especially for married couples. The three?
- How well does my spouse know our financial advisor?
- Does my spouse know where all our accounts are located and how to access them?
- Are our wills and beneficiary designations up-to-date?
If you answer any or all in the negative, then the original article has some easy suggestions. Following through is a natural lead-in to having the right conversations and doing the right things.
At least for this list of questions, the truly important lesson comes down to starting the right conversations with your spouse. Read a bit more in the original piece and further the conversation with competent counsel who can guide you, your spouse and all of your loved ones in building the right plan to both catch all the details and achieve your unique important goals.
You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.