We’ve just gotten through the season of the year-in-review. As I sat watching the various video montages on TV almost every night, I was reminded of the myriad of changes we all have in our lives over the course of a year. It got me thinking about the important legal documents and details we should review annually.
Beneficiaries: Make sure to confirm the beneficiaries on all life insurance policies, 401Ks and other benefit accounts.
Estate plans: Be sure to review your estate plans to make sure all beneficiaries are accurate, as well as any specific bequests (including any large ticket items purchased last year). Further, if your family has grown, that person will need to be added to your estate plan and guardians determined for that person, if they are a minor. Or, if a family member is no longer with us, then alternative decisions need to be made for anything that may have gone to that person.
Power of attorney: The person granted authority in a power of attorney – including healthcare power of attorney – should be reviewed for accuracy.
Living will & do not resuscitate (DNR): Review and revise your living will and DNR documents to ensure your wishes are accurate and will be followed.
If you find anything that needs to be modified or added, please don’t wait to make those updates. Contact the correct person – your financial advisor or attorney – to get those changes made.