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Your 6 Task Year-End Estate Planning To-Do List

Wow! Thanksgiving is next week! 2019 is just around the corner. I remember looking forward to ending 2017 and anticipating the arrival of 2018. Now I barely remember 2018! At least I am blessed to still be here doing what I love!

Now on to why you decided to read this message. As we all prepare for the holidays and a new year, it is important we wrap up any loose strings. Before entering into the new year, here are some things that need to be on your end of year checklist:

1. Make Sure Your Estate Planning is Up To Date

Will or Trusts

Now that the federal estate tax exemption is fixed at $10 million per person adjusted for inflation ($11.18 million in 2018), it is important you review your estate planning to ensure it still makes sense. For example, when reviewing your estate planning documents, look for such terms as “Marital Trust,” “QTIP Trust,” “Spousal Trust,” “A Trust,” “Family Trust,” “Credit Shelter Trust,” or “B Trust.” With the exemption amount so high, it may not be necessary to utilize these planning strategies anymore. At least not for the next ten years.

In addition, you will want to make sure those individuals you have appointed to serve as your fiduciaries (successor trustee, agent under a financial power of attorney, healthcare/patient advocate, trust protector, etc.) are still the desire agents and able to act on your behalf if the need arises.

Lastly, if your family has gone through any changes such as a birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc., you will want to double check the distribution scheme in your Will or Trust to make sure they are still the intended beneficiaries of your assets.