While people are often quick to make New Year’s Eve resolutions only to forget about them midway through January, there are some concrete actions you can and should take now, which can protect you and your loved ones in the years to come. At the Law Office Of Jordan B. Rickards, we recommend the following six estate planning resolutions to start your new year out on the right financial footing.
Six Estate Planning Tasks to do Now
Estate planning does not have to be complex, nor is it time consuming. The following are six simple tasks that are easy to accomplish and provide added security for you and your family:
- Check your retirement savings.
Saving money is often at the top of most people’s New Year’s resolution list. Unfortunately, it is easy to lose track of your goals when confronted with daily costs and unexpected expenses, particularly if you do not have a solid savings plan in place. Knowing the amount you will likely need during your retirement is an important first step.
Kiplinger is one of several websites which offer an online calculator so that you can get a better and more realistic ideas of what your retirement costs are likely to be and how much you will need to save.
- Double check insurance policies.
Health insurance is one of the most basic and important types of coverage you likely have, along with property owners insurance on your home. Check the amounts of coverage you have in place and your deductibles to ensure you are adequately protected.
There are other types of insurance that may be beneficial, such as business insurance if you own a company or work from home. This can protect you against liability in the event of accidents or property damage. If you still owe a considerable amount on your home and have young children, life insurance may be an option you want to explore. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly 20% of adults will suffer a disability before reaching retirement age, supplemental disability insurance is also something you may want to consider.
- Update your will.
Having a will in place can help you avoid time consuming and potentially costly proceedings in the Middlesex County Surrogate’s Court. However, a will only serves to protect you if it is legally valid and properly updated. Make sure this important document is drafted through an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney and be sure to update it each year to reflect births, deaths, marriages, and other important events.
- Update beneficiaries.
While you are updating you will, double check your beneficiaries and make sure you have the proper designations on all insurance policies and financial accounts. You can easily designate your checking or savings account as ‘payable on death’ at your bank, which will allow these funds to pass directly to your loved ones without going through the surrogate’s court. This can be a tremendous help in offsetting any immediate expenses.
- Designate power of attorney.
Naming someone you trust to act as your power of attorney can protect you in the event of unexpected injuries or illnesses and ensures your home, finances, and business are properly maintained and attended to in the event you are unable to take care of them yourself.
Request a Consultation With Our East Brunswick Estate Planning Attorney
At the Law Office Of Jordan B. Rickards, we provide the trusted legal guidance you need to ensure your assets and interests are protected. To request a consultation, contact our New Jersey estate planning attorney today.