As 2023 winds down and the holiday season ramps up, it is a good time to consider several estate planning actions.
- Create a “roadmap” document to help your family in case of an unexpected event or death. Such a summary document should contain a list of your important contacts, financial and legal advisors, financial institutions, account numbers, life insurance policies, online passwords, phone passwords, and specific instructions on how to proceed in case of an emergency.
- Talk it over with your family. As families gather around for the holidays, it is good for parents to talk to their adult children about their estate plans. Likewise, parents with young children should let their selected guardians know who they have named to help raise their kids in case something happens to both parents.
- Consider large gifts. The annual gift tax exclusion for individuals is currently $17,000. You can avoid utilizing a portion of the lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion (close to $13 million for 2023). Annual gifts can be made to as many recipients as desired as long as each gift doesn’t exceed $17,000 (or $34,000 for married couples electing split gifts).
- Review your current plans and documents. The end of the year is a good time to reflect upon any major life changes, such as a new marriage (or divorce), new kids and grandkids, relocations, or retirements. Such life changes should be accounted for in your estate plan to make sure your documents are current with your situation and desires.
- Call your local estate planning attorney. Now is a great time to schedule an appointment to review your plan. And if you are like 60% of the country without a Will, it is a great time to scratch “get a Will” off your to-do list. Call me at 513-815-7006, email me at email@example.com, or visit my webpage at danmccarthylaw.com to schedule your appointment.