Why the Holidays are the Perfect Time to Update an Estate Plan

We all know the holidays are the right time for sleigh riding, bell ringing, and tree trimming… but what about estate planning?

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently suggested something I like to remind my clients of as well: the holidays truly are the perfect time to update an estate plan.

Why? Two reasons, really: togetherness and timing.

The holiday season seems to bring with it an endless parade of family functions and gatherings. Some of us may see more of our families during the last two to three months of the year than we do in the others combined.

It’s a good time, then, to have important conversations about changes in assets, liabilities, and plans for the future. Having the whole family nearby can make it easier to square things away.

If you haven’t already, you should talk with the adults in your family (especially any parents and/or the elderly) about the current status of their estate plans. Do they have all the necessary documents in place? At a minimum, an estate plan should include a will, a power of attorney, healthcare directives, and in most cases, one or more trusts.

And because the holidays come at the end of the year, they also present a prime opportunity to think about your tax planning, both for next year and for the final quarter of 2014 (before it runs out).

If you or your family members have questions about estate documents, tax planning, or elder care, don’t hesitate to give my office a call. I’m here to help, even as all our lives get especially busy this time of year. I’m just a phone call or a quick office visit away.

Happy holidays, everyone!