By Marc S. Galella, Esq., of R.C. Shea and Associates
The middle of the year is a good time to review your estate planning documents.
Let’s start with your Last Will and Testament. Have you reviewed it in the last year? If not, now is a good time. First, look at the persons who you have appointed as your executor, guardian and trustee. Are those persons still capable of acting in that capacity? Are they still willing to act? Is there any reason why you would not want them to act under your Will?
Review the specific bequests and devises in your Will. This is the part of the Will where you leave specific items, real estate or money to specific persons. Are those persons still worthy of receiving those assets? Are there additional persons that you want add to your Will? Do you still own the items identified in your Will? Are there any other items that you want to leave to specific persons?
Review the persons named in your Will who are receiving the remainder of your estate. Are those persons still deserving of your assets? If you are leaving your estate in different percentages to your beneficiaries, are those percentages still what you want? Are they any other persons who you want to add to your Will? Are any of the persons named in your Will incapacitated or receiving governmental benefits? Perhaps the assets left to those persons are best left in a trust.
Review your Power of Attorney. Are the persons you appointed in that document still capable of acting for you? Do they still want to act on your behalf? Are there other persons who you want to name to act for you? Is there any reason why a person that you named should no longer act for you? Do you have a Power of Attorney? Maybe you did not need one the last time you prepared a Will, but maybe you should consider preparing one now.
Review your Living Will. Ask yourself the same questions as your Power of Attorney. Has there been any changes in your medical conditions that would change the medical directives in your current Living Will?
If after reviewing your current estate planning documents you feel that they should be changed, now is the time to discuss your concerns with an estate planning attorney. The attorneys at R. C. Shea and Associates have over 100 combined years of preparing estate planning documents. Call us to schedule an appointment to review your documents with you.