Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Estate Planning Resolutions For 2019: How to be a Grown-Up in The New Year

WilltestamentNew Year, New Me! That seems to be the mantra for many people when January rolls around, coming up with redundant resolutions. But this year, a resolution that could be resourceful and highly beneficial would be to get a head-start of this perennial to-do list:

  • Write a Last Will and Testament:
    • Every person over the age of 18 should have this document to lay out the disposition of your assets and the guardianship of your children in the event you die.
  • Make a Power of Attorney:
    • This can include the power to bank, file taxes, and even sell and purchase real estate on behalf of another individual.
  • Execute a Health Care Proxy:
    • It is vital in this day and age to make your wishes known to your appointed agent, including your preferences for care in the event you suffer from a terminal illness with no chance of survival
  • Purchase a Life Insurance Policy:
    • This is not for you but for your family and loved ones after you pass away, making it easier financially for them.
  • Check Beneficiary Designation Forms:
    • Make certain that a proper beneficiary or secondary beneficiary is designated for all accounts, including retirement or insurance accounts.
  • Consider Long-Term Care and Disability Insurance:
    • If the unexpected occurs, this type of policy can supplement your income or pay a benefit toward home or nursing care.
  • Consult with a Financial Advisor:
    • The advisor may work together with your attorney to make certain you have a solid and comprehensive estate plan.
  • Talk to Your Parents and Grandparents About their Estate Plans:
    • When parents and children ultimately have to switch roles it is best to now what the older generation's wishes are.
  • Consider Burial Options:
    • Though it may be a morbid subject that you do not want to dwell on, it is a subject that needs to be discussed with your family.
  • Inventory Your Assets:
    • Take a survey of everything you own from real property, personal property, and intellectual property, and if there is a question as to rights of ownership, try to resolve them before those issues are passed on to your heirs.

See Cori A. Robinson, Estate Planning Resolutions For 2019: How to be a Grown-Up in The New Year, Above the Law, January 8, 2019.

Special thanks to Carissa Peterson (Hrbacek Law Firm, Sugar Land, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.


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