Daylight savings is now behind us and spring is officially in the air. As winter thaws, trees start to regain their foliage, and the first tulips begin peeking out, the world feels flush with energy. New life is everywhere and with it, newfound motivation. Spring is the season of tidying closets, organizing the garage, washing windows, and reviewing your estate plan.
Wait, what? Reviewing your estate plan? That’s not a part of spring cleaning, you say…
Well, it should be!
If the energy of spring motivates you to organize your domestic affairs, why not let it do the same for your financial and personal affairs? After all, these matter just as much to your well-being as a well-kept, cozy home, and attending to the task is no more work. Revising your estate plan takes only a few hours and ensures you and your loved ones live with the peace of mind of knowing you’re prepared, no matter what may come. Here’s what you need to know:
4 Tips to Tidying Up Your Estate Plan
1. Reflect on What’s Happened Since Your Last Update
Every few years your estate plan requires updating. This is because life is organic and always evolving. Priorities shift, perspectives change, and, sometimes, major events occur.
If new children or grandchildren have arrived since you drafted your plan, you need to ensure they are accounted for. If your affections have changed, this needs to be reflected. If friendships or relationships with family are not what they were, you may need to update appointed roles (executor, power of attorney, etc.).
2. Account for Changes of Address
On average, millennials move once every two years. This means that if you belong to the generation born after 1980, you probably aren’t in the same home you were when you wrote your estate plan. If this is the case, revisions are needed.
Not only must your plan reflect your change in address, but it also must account for new real estate and, crucially, the different estate planning legislation of different states. If you have moved states since writing your plan, changes in both the format and content of your documents are likely in order.
3. Review Your Assets
If it’s been years since you drafted your estate plan, there’s a good chance your assets are not what they once were. Maybe you opened a new investment account, maybe you purchased a vacation home, maybe you came into an inheritance, yourself.
Whether your net worth has grown or decreased, you need to ensure this is reflected in your planning. Significant changes in your assets likely means rethinking the allocations outlined in your plan.
4. Reflect on Your Beneficiaries
Spring is the season of rebirth and this feature should lead you to ensure you haven’t overlooked any new family members that may have arrived since your first drafted your plan.
Beyond new children, grandchildren, and in-laws, you also want to take this opportunity to ensure there is no person or organization you need to remove. Have you lost a loved one in the past few years? Has your commitment to a cause or organization shifted? These are all crucial questions to periodically ask of your planning.
Spring may bring a new burst of energy, but this doesn’t mean tidying up your domestic or personal affairs is easy. To help fuel your spring cleaning, organizing, and updating we’ve included our special homemade granola bar recipe to keep you energized from start to finish.
Grandma’s Nutty Granola Oat Bars
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 tbsp chia seeds
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter (plus extra for greasing the pan)
2 tbsp dark corn syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Mix the rolled oats, chopped hazelnuts, flour, and chia seeds in a large mixing bowl and stir together.
Combine the butter, corn syrup, and sugar into a pan over low heat and stir until melted.
Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Turn the mixture into a greased 9×10 pan and smooth the surface.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden and firm, to the touch. Let cool and then cut into 16 bars.
For more on updating your estate plan or any other matter relating to your personal or financial affairs, do not hesitate to reach out to the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia either by calling 770-822-2723 or using the contact form on our website.
Contact the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia