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Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC

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Huntington, WV 25701-2225

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Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC

215 S. 3rd Street

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Clarksburg, WV 26301

Toll Free 800-982-3476

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By Anna Melissa Price of Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC on 12/30/2019
Estate Planning Goals Are New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

The conversation is sure to turn to resolutions as we are preparing for a new year in the tri-state area of West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), and Ohio (OH). Many of us will make resolutions, but few will keep them. Prioritizing your estate planning goals in the year ahead is actually relatively easy to achieve. When you make estate planning your resolution, you set yourself up for success that extends beyond the satisfaction of keeping a New Year’s resolution.

Preparing for a New Year: What Are Your Estate Planning Goals? 

If you are beginning, reviewing, or reevaluating your estate planning in WV, KY, or OH, contacting an estate planning attorney might be the first step you need to take in order to set off on a successful path. 

According to an article in Psychology Today, New Year’s Resolutions often fail because people’s goals are unclear or because they feel overwhelmed or discouraged. Taking the first step of reaching out to a WV, KY, or OH estate planning attorney can give you the confidence and information you need to set realistic goals and define the ways you plan to achieve them. 

Common Estate Planning Goals

Estate planning serves many purposes, and each individual or family’s goals should be based on their personal preferences, financial situation, and other factors. If you make estate planning your resolution for the year ahead, your specific objectives might include the following:

  • Protecting and managing assets for the remainder of your life;

  • Providing for loved ones and identifying heirs;

  • Naming of guardians of children or dependents;

  • Minimizing tax burdens;

  • Planning for the future stewardship of real property;

  • Simplifying the probate process or avoiding probate altogether;

  • Establishing a charitable giving plan;

  • Designating beneficiaries, executors, trustees, powers of attorney, etc.;

  • Planning for the succession of a business;

  • Incorporating life insurance into long-term planning;

  • Providing for your needs and your spouse’s welfare in the case of disability or incapacity; and

  • Outlining your wishes for burial, funeral, and other final arrangements.

Once you have defined your specific goals, a WV, KY, and OH estate planning attorney can assist you in identifying the appropriate legal documents, financial vehicles, and steps to take to protect your assets and plan for the future.

If You Don’t Have an Estate Plan, Make Estate Planning Your Resolution

A recent survey by Caring.com found that 57 percent of adults in the U.S. do not have basic estate planning documents in place. Of those, more than half said they had neglected estate planning because they “just haven’t gotten around to it.” Too many of us are leaving our futures, and those of our heirs, to chance.

If you don’t have a will or other basic directives in place, make estate planning your resolution as you’re preparing for a new year. Don’t overthink it. Reach out to an attorney and other professionals who can help you get started, and check this resolution off your list. 

Review Your Estate Planning Goals with a WV, KY, and OH Estate Planning Attorney

If you already have an estate plan in place, you can still make estate planning your resolution for the upcoming year. Your estate plan and documents should be reviewed on a regular schedule, preferably with the assistance of a WV, KY, and OH estate planning attorney who can advise you of any changes in state and federal law that might impact your arrangements. 

Talking to your family and heirs about your estate plan is another important step that is sometimes neglected by those who have an estate plan in place. Having this conversation can save your family from unexpected surprises and potential disputes about your intentions and final wishes after your death.

Attorney Anna Price of Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC can help you set estate planning goals and align those goals with an actionable strategy this year. If you would like to discuss estate planning in WV, KY, or OH, contact Anna by calling (866) 617-4736 or completing the firm’s online contact form