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Why You Should Regularly Review Your Financial and Estate Documents

Why You Should Regularly Review Your Financial and Estate Documents

Danielle Thies, CFP®, FPQP®, Associate Vice President, Senior Planner

As life changes, so do federal and state estate tax laws, and your financial situation. Here are four reasons why you should regularly review your financial and estate documents.

1. You have experienced a life change, such as:

  • New marriage or divorce
  • Significant net worth change
  • Started or sold a business
  • Executor/personal representative/power of attorney/successor trustee has died

Adjustments may be needed, especially when the financial climate or your circumstances have changed. Work with your financial professional to review your goals and update your financial plan as necessary.

2. Your documents don’t address digital assets.

If you would like your executor, personal representative, power of attorney and/or successor trustee to be able to access and reset passwords for your email accounts, social media, digital photos, blogs, etc., there must be explicit authorization in your documents.

3. You need more explanation of what your estate planning documents say and if they are coordinated with your finances.

Estate planning documents can be long and contain a lot of jargon. Your financial professional can summarize the documents for you in clear terms. In addition, your attorney may have drafted a trust for you but never helped you fund it; thus, your assets may go through probate if not titled properly.

4. Your beneficiaries need to be updated.

Have you reviewed your designated beneficiaries lately or checked that your accounts are titled properly? Proper beneficiary designations and account titling can help ensure your assets pass to your heirs as you intend and can help minimize estate taxes. An annual review of both can confirm all information is accurate and up-to-date.

We may not know what the future holds, but by creating a plan, proactively reviewing important documents, and making adjustments accordingly, you can be better prepared for whatever comes your way.

This material is being provided for educational and informational purposes only. D.A. Davidson & Co. is a registered broker-dealer and registered investment adviser that does not provide tax or legal advice. Information contained herein has been obtained by sources we consider reliable, but is not guaranteed and we are not soliciting any action based upon it. Any opinions expressed are based on our interpretation of the data available to us at the time of the original article. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Copyright D.A. Davidson & Co., 2022. All rights reserved. Member FINRA and SIPC.


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