Spring is approaching, and while a lot of people take this opportunity to spring clean their domicile, we believe it’s also a good time to do some “house cleaning” to make certain your affairs are in order.  Review the list below and see how up to date your financial, estate, and income tax affairs are.

Estate Security

  • My will is less then 3 years old.
  • I have a revocable trust to avoid the cost and delay of probate.
  • My revocable trust is fully funded.
  • The beneficiaries of my will and trusts are still living.
  • I am satisfied with the appointed executors and trustees of my estate.
  • I am satisfied with the beneficiaries of my will and trusts.
  • My power of attorney includes the power to make gifts and create trusts and is up to date.
  • My health care proxy is up to date.
  • I have made my annual exclusion gifts.
  • I have received a qualified appraisal of any gift which is not traded on an exchange.
  • I have sent timely Crummey notices to the beneficiaries of my life insurance trust.
  • My estate planning documents comply with the most recent changes in Federal and State law.
  • My assets are properly titled in the name of my revocable trust.

Risk Management

  • My current insurance is adequate.
  • I have recently reviewed an in-force illustration of my life insurance.
  • I have sufficient liability coverage.
  • I am not concerned about lawsuits.
  • The minutes of my family/business entity are up to date.
  • I have prepared for the risk of going into a nursing home.

Financial and Income Tax Considerations

  • I have meet with my financial advisor semi-annually.
  • I have reviewed my portfolio and am satisfied with the current asset allocation.
  • I have a diversified portfolio customized to my risk tolerance.
  • I am concerned about my ability to personally manage my own investments.
  • I am in a high ordinary income tax bracket (over 31%) and have planed to reduce my taxes.
  • I want to reduce my income tax.
  • I own appreciated stock or land that I want to sell but am concerned about capital gain.
  • I want to help family members pay for their education.
  • I need more tax deferred contributions than I can contribute to my IRA or 401K.
  • I have paid all my tax deductible expenses (legal, accounting and financial advisory fees).
  • I have made charitable gifts.
  • I have received adequate documentation of my charitable gifts to qualify for a deduction.

Qualified Plan/ IRA Considerations

  • I have maximized my contribution to my retirement plan or IRA.
  • I have a substantial IRA (over $500,000) and do not need it for retirement.
  • I have taken my minimum distribution.
  • I want to reduce my annual distribution from my IRA.
  • I have recently reviewed the beneficiary designation of my qualified plans.

If you did not a check a box immediate corrective action is advised.  Actions to take may include a review of your wealth plan; referral to one of your other advisors; or referral to a prospective new advisor to provide you with a complimentary second opinion and review of your issue.