What you need to know to get ready for the end of the year
With one year ending and a new one on the cusp of starting, many people will consider their resolutions—not their estate strategy. But the end of the year is a great time to sit down and review your preparations, especially when you're spending more time with your loved ones; even more important if you have a complicated estate that may need to get managed after you're gone.
Call a family meeting. Many people don't let their family know their wishes or who is appointed to handle the estate. While two-thirds of Americans say that the pandemic has brought them closer to their family, only 28% of those 65 and older have started discussing their estate strategy with their families.1,2
You may be able to get ahead of any potential family issues down the line by discussing your wishes, what needs to be handled by your estate, and reviewing what you have in place. No one wants to think about their family members passing away, but an awkward conversation now may mitigate future problems.
Get organized. Ensure that your documents are up to date and remain aligned with your wishes. Two things to consider are a financial power of attorney and a power of attorney for your healthcare needs. Both can play a role should you become too ill to make decisions.2,3
Also, consider adding "Transfer on Death" or "Pay on Death" to ensure that your spouse or surviving relatives can have access to your accounts.2,3
Be flexible. Tax law changes adjust and change over time. For example, the SECURE Act, which went into effect at the end of 2019, did away with "stretch IRAs." The change forced some to consider a new approach to that portion of their estate. Your estate strategy should be flexible enough to adjust to whatever happens.4
As you talk about your estate with your family and set your preparations in motion, the end of the year is a great time to connect with your financial professional, tax attorney, and estate attorney.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
1. News.BloombergTax.com, August 21, 2020
2. NYTimes.com, September 6, 2020
3. Kiplinger.com, June 16, 2020
4. CNBC.com, June 30, 2020