Each quarter of the calendar year provides opportunities for estate planning.
Businesses often divide their fiscal calendars into quarters.
There are often benchmarks and checkups scheduled every three months.
Doing so allows the business to better understand and manage its financial health.
According to a recent Victoria Advocate article titled “Make quarterly payments to estate plan,” setting personal financial checkups each quarter can benefit your estate plan.
Those who work for themselves or who are retired often make estimated tax payments each quarter to account for taxes, Social Security, and IRA or 401(k) contributions.
For those who are employed by others, these payments may automatically be withdrawn from their paychecks.
Just like it is helpful to plan for April 15 consistently throughout the year, your estate plan could also benefit from this strategic discipline.
How does one incorporate a quarterly rhythm in his or her estate planning?
During the first quarter, you should review your estate planning documents with your attorney or schedule an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan.
A comprehensive plan will take into account both incapacity and death estate planning considerations.
For these reasons, it will likely include a last will and testament, a general durable power of attorney, an advance health care directives, an anatomical gift declaration, an HIPAA authorization, and possibly a revocable living trust.
A last will and testament is especially important as it serves several purposes.
It allows you to designate who receives your assets when you die, who serves as the legal guardian for minor children, and who administrators your estate as the executor.
Inform your family and loved ones about your estate planning.
By having the conversations while you are still alive and possess full mental capacity, you will reduced the stress your loved ones may experience in times of tragic loss.
What things should you discuss with your loved ones?
Talk with them about your wishes for your burial, for organ donation, and for care of your pets.
You should also inform your executor what you have outlined in your estate plan and where to find important papers.
During this quarter, it would be wise to update beneficiaries on your accounts.
Because these supersede the provisions of your last will and testament, you will want to ensure the correct individual inherits the asset.
Check your IRA, 401(k), SEP, life insurance policy, and transfer on death or payable on death accounts and titles.
Planning during this quarter can involve considering gifts to future generations and charities.
Trust are often used to accomplish long-term planning goals.
By taking each quarter to evaluate, update, and take appropriate action, you will have peace of mind knowing your affairs are in order and your estate plan will work as designed when required.
Reference: Victoria Advocate (May 8, 2021) “Make quarterly payments to estate plan”