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Lessons in the Law August Report

August 15, 2019

Resolve to Secure Your Estate

With our list of new year’s resolutions long forgotten, there is one area of our lives that simply cannot fall by the wayside.

People dedicate themselves to some sort of self-improvement throughout the year, whether it’s losing weight or deciding not to text and drive. I’d like to encourage everyone to think about where they are with their personal affairs and make it a point to get them in order.

1) Is your will/trust current? Do you still have a relationship with the person you’ve appointed as your executor? Do you have established guardians for your children? Can they be found? If your children are adults, do you want to make provisions for them that are different from when they were minors? Have your assets changed? Who’s going to get what? Has your estate been valued?

2) Make yourself heard. Who will make decisions for you if you are no longer able to? Who will make sure your bills are paid, your pets fed and your affairs kept in order? Without good planning, decisions might be made that aren’t what you would have wanted. It’s crucial to update your living will and your health care and financial powers of attorney to make sure your voice is heard.

3) No good deed… There is specific language that needs to be included on your deed that if it isn’t there means the inherited portion of the home will need to go through probate—even if you have a will. Title to the property may not automatically transfer to your spouse.

Any day of the year is a perfect time to review your important papers and legal documents. If you haven’t done it yet in 2019, then today is the day!