On December 27, 2013

Asset protection and preservation can be a necessity, especially for those with large estates. With a regular examination of estate planning documents, individuals may find inaccuracies contained therein and can avoid troubles through updating certain information.

Some necessary changes include updates of the names of beneficiaries on retirement plans, life insurance policies, IRA’s, mutual funds, annuities and any savings plan. For example, if a named beneficiary divorces or dies, assets could go to the wrong person. It can also be a good idea to name a contingent beneficiary in order to avoid probate complications which can become very time-consuming and costly to beneficiaries and family members.

There are also changes in IRS tax laws that should be taken into consideration. Estate tax laws have changed and could complicate estate planning. There are solutions to keep assets tax-free so that beneficiaries won’t be burdened with paying them.

Naming a power of attorney is also a smart move in avoiding troubles in the event that the owner of the will becomes incapacitated. In addition, individuals with a large amount of assets may benefit greatly by creating a living trust. Without a living trust, there may be higher taxes and complications that may arise among family members when a person’s assets are distributed.

Estate planning varies from state to state. Colorado residents who want to avoid possible problems that may arise from improperly planned estate documents may wish to consult with an estate attorney. The attorney may be able to help a client conduct a review of existing documents and determine whether revisions need to be made to reflect changes in family or financial circumstances.

Source: TimesDispatch.com, “Time to check the list for financial and estate planning goals“, Carol Hazard, December 16, 2013

Categories: Estate Planning

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