Why Your Estate Plan Might Need an Update

An estate plan is a set of papers that usually includes a will, durable power of attorney, and advance medical directive. These essential documents can help you manage financial and health-related matters if you ever become incapacitated, and they should provide for the efficient transfer of your assets upon your death.

In other words, an estate plan is a hedge against uncertainty, a defense against the curveballs life may toss your way. An up-to-date plan can help you minimize death taxes, protect your assets from creditors, provide for your loved ones, establish trusts for your children, and appoint guardians to care for them.

Although estate-planning documents don’t “expire,” they can become out of date and ineffective if your life circumstances have changed.


Empower Your Loved Ones with a ‘Power of Appointment’

Preparing an estate plan means having a say in what happens to your wealth after you are gone. Through a Last Will and Testament, you can name the important people in your life who will inherit your assets.

You can also specify whether they should receive these assets immediately upon your death or over time through a trust. Looking even farther ahead, you can give your loved ones a “power of appointment,” enabling them to say where any remaining trust assets should go when they themselves are out of the picture.

With a power of appointment at their disposal, your loved ones can direct their inheritance to subsequent generations wisely and effectively.


Is Same-Sex Marriage in Jeopardy?

The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade has sent abortion-rights advocates reeling. In a 6–3 opinion, the Court ended a constitutional right that was the law of the land for nearly half a century.

The ruling could put other constitutional rights in jeopardy as well. Many in the LGBTQ community are asking, “Is same-sex marriage next?”


Leaving Little to Chance — A Trust for Your Financial Legacy

Receiving an inheritance can seem like winning the lottery. A financial windfall lands on your doorstep and promises to change your life for the better. But an inheritance and lottery winnings differ in many important ways, starting with the likelihood of receiving one.

You are much more likely to receive an inheritance than win the lottery, especially if you are already well off. About 20 percent of Americans inherit money at some point in their lives, but that number jumps to almost 40 percent for people in more affluent households.

Lottery winners, on the other hand, tend to be less well off, and they often have trouble managing their newfound wealth. They may also view their windfall differently.