We’re never really ready for the end of a calendar year. There’s an odd sense that what we thought was the far-off future has already arrived, rather like a guest showing up too early for our dinner party. In something of a panic, we come up with resolutions for the coming year, things we ought to have taken care of by now, but somehow haven’t gotten done.
As with all planning, estate planning involves both taking stock and looking ahead. Even if all your essential documents have been created and properly stored, are there any newly born children or grandchildren, nieces, nephews, any new marriage partners that need to be added to your list of beneficiaries? Have you acquired or sold any important assets (either personal or business) since those documents were finalized? Are there new online accounts you’ve opened (or any that have been discontinued)? Have there been any important health-related changes (in either your own health or that of someone to whom you’ve assigned Powers of Attorney)?
Have events this year (either world events or special challenges faced by friends right here in Indiana) perhaps changed your mind about which causes you most want to benefit with your charitable giving? Have your thoughts changed about organ donation? Climate change? Religious organizations? Have there been changes in your approach to passing on your business?
At Geyer Law, what we often find is that in December and January each year, many of our clients are “paying more attention” to estate planning due to their renewed sense of the inexorable passage of time. Our privilege is helping every client express their wishes in their planning, and to t responsibly care for themselves and others…
– by Cara Chittenden, Associate Attorney at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates