As the holiday season approaches and we prepare for gatherings of family and friends, many of us take this as an opportunity to reflect on things that have happened in our lives over the past year. The birth of a child or grandchild, the loss of a loved one, weddings, a new job, or retirement are just a few of the changes you may have experienced. In addition to how these events impacted your personal life, have you considered how they may have affected your financial life, including your family and business succession plans? If the makeup of your family or the ownership of your business has changed recently, you may want to consider the following questions:
- Wills and trusts: Do your estate planning documents include all of your children and grandchildren? Do you have a new son- or daughter-in-law from whom you want to protect assets in the event of a future divorce? Do you still want to leave your estate to all of your children equally, even though one has decided to join you in your business, and the others are pursuing other interests?
- Buy-sell agreement: Has a co-owner retired or left your business due to death or disability? Have you changed your succession plan to bring in another child or a key employee as a new owner in the future?Has the value of your business changed?
- Beneficiary designations: Do you know who is named as the beneficiary of your retirement plans and life insurance policies? Do these designations still reflect your wishes and coordinate with your overall planning?
Changes that occur over the years often necessitate a review of your plans. Don’t inadvertently disinherit someone who was born after your documents were executed, or leave your family with less than fair value for your business interest because of an out-of-date valuation. Consult with your attorney to review your existing plan, or if you don’t have one in place yet, create a new plan, to make sure your wishes are known and will be carried out when you’re gone.
This article is for general information and risk prevention recommendations only and should not be considered legal, coverage, financial, tax, or medical advice. The information may be subject to regulations and restrictions in your state. There is no guarantee following these recommendations will help reduce or eliminate losses. The information is accurate as of its publication date and is subject to change. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances. All rights reserved.
Published Date:November 18, 2019
Categories: It's Your Life