It’s that time of year to drag out all your paperwork, review incoming documents, and make sure you’re organized for your meeting with your accountant. Since you’re already going to the trouble of getting the yearly financial picture for your taxes, why not take advantage of this opportunity to review and update your estate plan, too?
Old estate planning strategies that worked years ago might not be relevant, so if your plan was to “set it and forget it” with estate planning from the past, consider setting aside some time to speak with an estate planning lawyer once you cart off your documents to your tax preparation specialist.
Taxes are the one time a year people are guaranteed to get a big picture look at their finances. If your situation has changed dramatically since you last filed, such as if you’re no longer filing jointly as a married couple due a divorce or if you’ve inherited something, this information should be discussed with your estate planning attorney in Pasadena.
Knowing that you intend to pass on some of your retirement accounts also brings up tax considerations given that the stretch IRA option was recently eliminated with the passing of the SECURE Act. Although estate and tax planning laws and regulations don’t always update on an annual basis, it’s good to have a relationship with a law firm ready to inform you about changes and recommend relevant changes in your plans with any updates that do occur.
Before you file on April 15th, see if you can’t also spend some time reviewing your previous estate planning documents and meeting with a lawyer. It won’t take much of your time but will be worth the knowledge that you’ve taken big-picture concerns and translated them into meaningful forms of protection in your estate plan.