It’s the beginning of the year, which means that we all have well-intended New Year’s resolutions. The diet, the exercise regimen, saving money…and finally doing our estate planning and financial planning. The celebrity stories in Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! can help motivate you to actually do your estate planning this year. Really!
Here are some of our easy-to-use estate planning tips for the new year:
1. Get your financial affairs organized this year. Create an “asset” list, including the account numbers, names of financial institutions, and related information for your insurance, stocks, bonds, CDs, securities, bank accounts and other investments.
2. Store your asset list and your estate planning documents in a fireproof box, safe, or safety deposit box. Remember to make sure that your loved ones can find and access these documents! We have an Estate Planning Organizer to help you with this. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more.
3. Review and update your estate planning documents and your financial plan with your professionals in the next twelve months, especially if you haven’t done so in the last few years or if you’ve experienced any life events, such as the birth of a child or a divorce. Sometimes old, stale documents can be worse than having no estate planning at all.
4. If you have a revocable living trust, work with your estate planning team to ensure that your investments, insurance, and other assets are properly titled into your trust. This is called funding a trust, which is a critical part of the planning process that many people overlook. When it’s not done, the trust doesn’t do you much good! Unlike wills, trusts can help families avoid probate court entirely, but only when properly funded.
5. Have the conversation with your loved ones about their estate planning. Remind them how important it is to have power of attorneys, a will, and for most people, a trust. The celebrity stories in Trial & Heirs are a great way to get this conversation started!
In fact, we recently put together our Trial & Heirs’ list of Top Ten Celebrity Legal Battles of 2015, which are a great way to get the dialogue flowing. We share a lesson with each one, from Bill Cosby and Charlie Sheen’s many lawsuits, to Gwen Stefani and Madonna’s divorce drama. We also include the top estate battles, including those surrounding Robin Williams and Whitney Houston’s daughter.
Check out our video below to learn more about our top New Year’s Resolutions:
Feel free to share these New Year’s Resolutions with your family members, loved ones, clients and prospects to help motivate them to get their estate planning in order. We wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2016!
Danielle and Andrew Mayoras are co-authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! For the latest celebrity and high-profile cases, with tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your clients, click here to subscribe to The Trial & Heirs Update. You can “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Google+.