While your medical practice may be based in New York today, there is no guarantee that you won’t have to move in the future. Therefore, your will or living trust may need to be adjusted to account for the rules in a different state. Other major life events may make it necessary to review your estate plan every five to seven years. Let’s take a look at some things to consider when crafting it.
Protect your interests during your lifetime
Creating a trust may make it possible to minimize taxes owed on any gifts made to beneficiaries during your lifetime. A living will can be used to provide instructions as to what type of treatment that you would like to receive while incapacitated. A medical power of attorney form makes it possible to designate an agent who will help communicate your wishes or make decisions on your behalf.
Think about how assets will be distributed
When you die, your assets can be passed to friends, family members or charitable organizations. By creating a will or trust, you can dictate where money in a bank or brokerage account goes or who receives your home. However, if you die without a will, state law will determine who gets property titled in your name.
In most cases, assets will pass to a spouse, a child or a parent. This is generally true regardless of the type of personal relationship you have with these individuals. Therefore, assets could go to an estranged son or a parent who you haven’t talked to in years as opposed to your best friend or cousin. Furthermore, state law may limit the percentage of your estate that a beneficiary is allowed to receive.
If you need help creating or reviewing your estate plan, it may be a good idea to consult with an estate planning attorney. He or she may be able to talk more about creating a will, altering a trust or changing the wording of a beneficiary designation.