As your parents age, it’s important to ensure that their plans for the future are up to date. With today’s ever-evolving privacy laws and regulations, there may be specific documents missing from your parents’ estate plan which could leave you or family members in the dark. Additionally, many older wills and trusts lack provisions that allow seniors to legally protect assets should they require long-term care in their later years – something that can give peace of mind amidst a stressful situation. If it’s been a while since your parents have looked at their documents, it may be time for a formal review.
Why You Should Update Your Parents’ Estate Plan
There are many good reasons to update your parents’ estate plan, including:
- To make sure that the right people are in charge of making decisions.
- To ensure that their property and assets will be distributed according to their wishes.
- To make sure that their medical wishes will be respected.
- To protect their assets from being depleted by long-term care costs.
Tips for Helping Your Parents with the Review Process
- Schedule a meeting: First and foremost, schedule a meeting with your parents to discuss the plan. It’s important to have a dedicated time to go over their documents when everyone is mentally prepared and focused on the task.
- Collect all relevant documents: Gather all of the relevant documents related to the estate plan, including the will, trust documents, power of attorney, and any other relevant paperwork.
- Understand the purpose of the estate plan: Before reviewing the plan, it’s important to understand the purpose behind it. This will help you and your parents make informed decisions about any changes that may need to be made.
- Review the beneficiaries: Review the beneficiaries named in the estate plan and ensure that they are still appropriate. It’s possible that some beneficiaries may have passed away or there may be new people in your parents’ life who should be added.
- Assess the assets: Take stock of all of your parents’ assets, including bank accounts, investments, and property. Ensure that the estate plan is structured in a way that will ensure these assets are distributed according to your parents’ wishes.
- Evaluate any tax implications: Review the estate plan with an eye toward minimizing any tax implications for your parent’s estate.
- Consider any changes in your parents’ life: If your parents’ circumstances have changed since the estate plan was created, such as a new marriage, divorce, or the birth of a grandchild, those changes should be taken into account in the review.
Overall, reviewing an your parents’ estate plan is an important process that can help ensure that your parents’ wishes are carried out and that their assets are distributed in the way they intended. By following these tips, you can help your parents update their estate plan as needed. We are here to help you navigate the process and ensure that all of your bases are covered. Simply contact us at (800) 244-8814 to schedule an appointment at our Costa Mesa area estate planning law firm or at one of our other offices located throughout the state.