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8 Tips for Estate Planning in 2018

by | Dec 27, 2017 | Firm News |

Need a New Year’s Resolution?

Here’s one: Make time in the New Year to create an estate plan or update the one you already have.

After you have spent time with your family over the holidays, you surely have been thinking about your future and what you want for your family going forward. Don’t let 2018 be another year during which you remain complacent regarding your estate planning—be prepared for all that this year may bring for you and your family.

The following are 8 Tips for Estate Planning in the New Year, courtesy of

1. Write a letter — a letter of instruction, that is. It will provide critical information to your children and other important people in the event of an emergency. Include names and contact information for key advisors, location of key records, how to find passwords, key medical information, key financial information, and other general instructions.

2. Share passwords. These will come in handy in the case of estate planning. Oftentimes, your online passwords can be the key to many important documents or bank accounts that could affect your estate plan.

3. Review your life insurance. Does what you have continue to meet your needs? If so, then terrific; if not, then get more.

4. Take a proper home inventory. To create a successful estate plan, it is important to know all of your valuables and have appraisals completed for any collectibles.

5. Review property casualty insurance. How will you replace home if it burns down?

6. Update charitable bequests. Just like any other part of your estate plan, your charitable bequests should be updated as you see fit. Does a particular charity still resonate with you?

7. Review beneficiary designations. Assets that pass by beneficiary designation don’t go through probate, but you may not want an 18 year old getting access to, say, life insurance proceeds or retirement plan monies. Better yet, make these payable to a living trust for the benefit of your children so that they’ll be protected from their creditors and predators.

8. Schedule a family meeting. Your estate plan should be shared with your children as soon as they are old enough to understand what you’ve done. Knowledge is power and your children knowing what your estate plan provides will allow them to make wiser decisions when something does happen to you.

In the meantime, we at Hatley Law Group, A P.C. wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!