As the New Year unfolds, it is an ideal time to reflect on our lives and make plans for the future. While estate planning might not be the first thing on your mind, it is crucial for ensuring your wishes are honored and your loved ones are taken care of. Let us share seven key estate planning tips to consider right here on our blog as you step into the New Year with us.

  1. Review your last will and testament or trust agreement. The beginning of the year is a perfect time to review and update your last will and testament or trust agreement. We know life changes. There are marriages, divorces, births, and deaths, which can impact your Wisconsin estate plan. Be sure these documents reflect your current wishes and family situation.
  2. Update beneficiary designations. Your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other financial products have beneficiary designations that need regular review. Changes in your life may necessitate updates to these designations to ensure they align with your current intentions.
  3. Review and update life insurance policies. Regularly review your life insurance policies to ensure they align with your current estate planning goals. As your life circumstances and financial situation change, so should your life insurance coverage.
  4. Plan for business succession. If you own a business, it is crucial to include succession planning in your estate plan. Decide early who will take over the management of your business should something happen to you and work with your Wisconsin estate planning attorney to outline the process in your estate plan to ensure a smooth transition should something happen.
  5. Plan for digital assets. In today’s digital age, it is essential to include digital assets like social media accounts, online banking, and digital files in your estate plan. Start by making a list of these assets and work with your Wisconsin estate planning attorney to include instructions on how they should be handled.
  6. Review estate tax laws. Estate tax laws can change, and it is important to stay informed. Review your plan in light of current tax laws and consider consulting with your experienced Wisconsin estate planning attorney to understand how these laws might affect your estate.
  7. Secure important documents. Ensure that all your estate planning documents are securely stored, yet accessible to the right people when needed. Inform your decision makers, or key family members if you prefer, about where these documents are kept.

Estate planning is a continuous process that requires regular updates and reviews. By following these seven tips, you can ensure that your Wisconsin estate plan is up-to-date and aligned with your current wishes. We encourage you to start the New Year with the peace of mind that comes from having a thought out, up-to-date Wisconsin estate plan.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers.  As an estate planning and elder law firm, we urge our clients to take advantage of these tools and resources, ensuring comprehensive financial health and security. We want to help you protect your aging relatives. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.