At Family Estate Planning Law Group, we focus quite a bit on educating our clients about the importance of aligning their assets with their estate plans. However, equally important is the verification that financial institutions have correctly aligned assets and ongoing tracking of assets to ensure new assets are aligned and old assets are transitioned out correctly. Today, we’ll look at these crucial elements of making sure an estate plan works.
Clients of Family Estate Planning Law Group—along with many others—understand the importance of aligning assets with the estate plan. The title on assets is what determines what happens to the asset at the time of death! But sometimes, even if a client has submitted a request to their financial institutions to align the title of their assets with the plan, an institution could still make an error. In other cases, institutions insist that specific forms be completed or that powers of attorney be submitted on their own forms.
The added complexity of the process can frustrate anyone trying to ensure an estate plan works. But it’s important to ensure that financial institutions have correctly aligned your assets with the estate plan. As we already mentioned, it’s the very thing that determines what happens to your assets after your death!
Even once assets are aligned correctly with the plan, it’s best to get written confirmation from financial institutions. Policies can change, and you want to ensure that your assets will pass the way you intend, so written verification or authorization from financial institutions can minimize mess for your heirs down the road.
Then there’s the fact that your life and your assets will change. Many of us have moved at some point, and any time a home held in a trust is sold and a new home purchases, you’ll want to work with your estate planning attorney to ensure these assets are transitioned into or out of your estate plan correctly.
Even changing jobs will trigger changes in assets. You’ll have a new 401(k) or 403(b) account, and you may also have stock options or other assets that will need to be aligned with your plan. Have an old 401(k) you’re rolling over into an IRA? You’ll want to make sure those assets pass in a way that’s in alignment with your estate plan, as well.
This is just one of the many reasons that we at Family Estate Planning Law Group created our ongoing maintenance program for our clients. We help our clients ensure that as assets, the law and family situation change, your estate plan keeps up with your life.
For more information, explore our website and contact us to schedule your consultation today!