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END THE YEAR ON A HIGH NOTE WITH UP-TO-DATE TRUST-BASED ESTATE PLANNING: (Finally) Finishing Your Tax Returns Is NOT the Final Step You may already be done with your tax returns (or maybe you even finished them in time for the April deadline!). October 16, 2017 is the deadline to file your 2016 federal and state income tax returns. But even after your returns are filed, there are still a few items on your financial to-do list. If you have reading these articles, you probably already know about the importance of a trust-based estate plan (hopefully, you will contact us soon to get us working on one with you). If you already have a trust-based estate plan, you are on the right track to getting the most from your assets, and protecting yourself and your family from financial mismanagement and over-taxation. However, trust-based estate plans can fail if your assets are not properly funded into your trusts or otherwise aligned with your plan. Follow these three easy steps as soon as possible to make sure you are wrapping up the year wisely by leveraging the time you have already spent finishing your tax returns.

1. Review your trust design diagram or summary to ensure it still matches your goals.

If you have experienced some changes since you last visited your estate plan, such as welcoming a new baby to the family, suffering the death of a loved one, or experiencing major health concerns, you might have a new perspective on what you would like your long-term estate planning goals to look like. It is always a good idea to revisit your trust design diagram or trust summary periodically to make sure it still works with your current situation.

2. Gather your most recent bank statements, investment statements, beneficiary designation forms, and other paperwork concerning new accounts.