Whether or not you are retired, or just starting out in your employment life, estate planning needs to be a part of what you do. Looking at your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and your medical power of attorney are just two of the areas that you need to take a look at now, rather than later.

Has your marital status changed? Has there been a child added to your family, yours or a grandchild? Or have you lost a loved one who left you assets that need to be put to good use? The documentation, such as a trust fund or power of attorney, may no longer reflect your financial intent.

If you divorce or remarry, you definitely need to change your will as soon as possible. A professional who specializes in estate planning law can assist you with this. Also, if the person you expected to inherit your assets when you are no longer here passes away before you, you will need to take a look at changing your estate plan as soon as possible.

Being forewarned is forearmed, so be sure to update your IRA beneficiary form if you divorce or lose someone who was to inherit from you. Not doing this can cause great upheaval in the court for many years.

What happens if you plan to gift your son the family home and your daughter an Individual Retirement Account, but the home is now worth more than the IRA? Staying on top of all the details can be exhausting. All the more reason to let a professional who knows you and the laws of New York take care of all this for you.

Do you have a living will? Financial power of attorney goes with that and these should be revisited if you move from one state to another. Getting your paperwork in good stead will give you peace of mind and will make your estate bullet proof. It will also ensure that your children get what you want them to have.

Having someone in your corner who knows all about estate planning in New York can be a valuable asset at a time like this.

Source: CNBC, “Get your estate plans in order—and check your list twice” Shelly Schwartz, Dec. 19, 2014