Mid-Year Financial Check-Up: The State of Your Estate

Now Is the Unique Opportunity to Reflect and Plan Ahead

Mid-year is ideal for an estate plan review! Check out our guide on the why and how of mid-year estate planning.

Estate planning is one of those tasks that often gets sidelined in the busy flow of daily life. However, it’s not just for the wealthy or the elderly. In fact, estate planning is essential for everyone, regardless of the size of your estate or your stage of life. Mid-year, with its natural pause as we transition from spring to summer, offers a perfect opportunity to evaluate and adjust your financial and estate plans. This timing is especially strategic as it allows you to adapt to any changes in laws, financial status, or personal life circumstances that may have arisen early in the year. This article aims to explain why mid-year estate planning is helpful and provide practical steps to keep your estate well-organized so you can better protect your legacy and your loved ones.

Understanding the Importance of Mid-Year Estate Planning

Let’s begin with the basics of why the middle of the calendar year can be a useful time for reviewing your plans:

It’s a Chance to Reflect and Adjust

Mid-year naturally lends itself as a strategic point for both assessment and reflection in many areas of life, including finances. It offers a moment to pause and review the progress made during the first half of the year and to prepare for the months ahead. In the context of estate planning, this period is critical for evaluating whether your financial goals are aligned with your current circumstances and projections.

Life events such as marriage, the birth of a child or grandchild, or the purchase of significant assets like a home can profoundly impact your estate plan. A mid-year review provides an opportunity to integrate these changes into your estate planning strategy so that your documents are up to date and accurately reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Additionally, this review can help identify any new risks or opportunities that might have arisen, allowing you to adjust your plans accordingly so that your estate plan remains robust and responsive to any shifts in your life or financial situation.

You Can Stay on Top of Changes

The legal landscape surrounding estates and taxes is both complex and dynamic, frequently subject to legislative amendments and shifts in policy. So, staying informed about these changes is crucial, as even minor alterations can have significant implications for your estate plan. Mid-year estate planning is particularly advantageous because it not only allows you to assess any changes in the legal environment but also helps you maintain estate planning strategies that are both compliant and strategically positioned to take advantage of any new tax laws and exemptions.

SEE ALSO: Retirement Income Sources: Know Your Options Beyond Social Security and Pensions

This periodic review helps identify opportunities to enhance the financial efficiency of your estate, potentially increasing the value preserved for your heirs. For example, recent legislation might offer new opportunities for trusts or increase gift exemptions, providing timely options to enhance your estate’s financial efficiency. By regularly updating your plan, you protect your assets and maintain maximum benefit for your heirs.

You Can Better Protect Your Assets

Effective estate planning involves safeguarding your assets against unforeseen events, which is important when it comes to trying to maintain long-term financial security. This process typically includes setting up trusts, updating wills, and enhancing insurance coverage. Mid-year estate planning helps you maintain asset protection strategies that are up-to-date and robust, reflecting any new assets acquired or changes in your personal circumstances (such as changes in family structure due to marriages or divorces).

During this mid-year review, it’s important to assess whether your insurance coverage meets current needs, especially if the value of your assets has increased or you have acquired new significant properties. Updating these elements regularly helps you keep your assets well-protected, and your estate plan aligned with your current wishes and financial situation.

How to Go About Mid-Year Estate Planning

Now that you have an understanding of why mid-year is an advantageous time to consider and reassess your estate plans, let’s dig into the steps you might take to get the most out of mid-year estate planning:

Review Your Current Plan

As you sit down to start your mid-year review, you’ll want to start by reviewing your existing estate plan. Check whether all your documents are up to date and reflect your current wishes and circumstances. This includes your will, trusts, power of attorney, and health care directives.

Key Documents to Review:

  • Wills and Trusts: Ensure they still reflect your current wishes about who inherits your estate.
  • Powers of Attorney: Confirm that your designated agents are still willing and able to act on your behalf.
  • Healthcare Directives: Review to ensure they reflect your current wishes for medical care in case you cannot express them yourself.

Assess Changes in Your Life and Assets

Have there been significant changes in your life since your last review? Perhaps you’ve married, divorced, had a child or grandchild, or experienced the death of a spouse. Each of these life events can necessitate significant changes in your estate plan.

Financial Changes to Consider:

  • Changes in Asset Values: Significant increases or decreases in asset values can affect your estate planning.
  • New Assets or Liabilities: Acquired or disposed of assets like real estate, stocks, or significant possessions should be reflected in your estate plans.

SEE ALSO: Legacy Planning Tips: Combining Purpose and Passion

Consult with Professionals

Estate planning can be complex, involving various legal and tax implications. Consulting with estate planning professionals, such as attorneys, tax advisors, and financial planners, can provide valuable insights and help you avoid common pitfalls.

Professional Insights Might Include:

  • Tax Advantages: Strategies to minimize estate taxes and maximize inheritance for your beneficiaries.
  • Legal Updates: Information on any changes in estate law that could affect your plans.

Update and Implement Changes

Once your estate plan has been reviewed and you’ve consulted with professionals, the next step is to implement the necessary updates. This could involve drafting new documents or amending existing ones to reflect recent changes in your life or assets. It’s important to be sure that all modifications are legally binding by adhering to proper legal procedures. This process typically includes updating wills, modifying trusts, and adjusting powers of attorney or healthcare directives, all done under the guidance of experienced legal professionals for compliance with current laws and to prevent future disputes. Regular updates and strict adherence to legal formalities can help you maintain an effective estate plan that accurately reflects your wishes and protects your assets.

Protect Your Future

Mid-year estate planning is more than just a routine check-up—it’s an essential part of clarifying your financial future and protecting your loved ones. By taking the time now to review and adjust your estate plan, you can pave the way for your wishes to be honored and your assets to be protected, no matter what the future holds.

Let’s Plan Your Future Together

At Flourish Wealth Management, we understand that estate planning is a deeply personal, often complex process. If you’re looking to start or update your estate plan, our team is here to guide you with advice tailored to your unique situation. Contact us today to learn how we can help you build your legacy and gain greater peace of mind for the future.

Share This Post

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join Our Mailing List

Stay up to date on all things Flourish!

Flourish is Ten Years Old!

A decade ago, we embarked on a journey to empower and serve you with values-based financial planning. In 2024, we celebrate our 10th anniversary with immense gratitude for your trust and support. Here’s to many more years of flourishing financially, together!

Skip to content