Less than 46% of Americans surveyed by Gallup in 2021 had a will. This number is shocking—not having estate planning documents can cost your loved ones thousands in legal fees, not to mention family strife and arguments. Or, if you and your family are some of the 54% with plans in place for the future, when was the last time you revisited and updated your estate planning documents? Outdated documents may also cost your family in time and money.
A person without—or with outdated—estate planning documents may not be fully protected. Tax season is a great time to revisit existing estate plans or think about establishing new ones. Why? Tax season serves as a natural (and government-imposed) check on your assets and liabilities. Changes in yearly earnings or the sale and acquisition of significant assets can have big tax implications and big implications on what you may want to reflect in your estate planning documents.
Changes to Watch Out For
In 2022, many individuals are finding that investing as a hobby is easier than ever. Investments can fluctuate in value, and estate planning documents should account for big windfalls or substantial losses. In the same vein, cryptocurrencies are beginning to become a more mainstream investment for many individuals. However, cryptocurrencies require private keys to access. Estate plans should include instructions for accessing cryptocurrency portfolios to avoid losing assets to a misplaced password.
In addition, if you’ve participated in the post-pandemic Great Resignation or the new phenomenon of “quiet quitting,” you may be seeing shifts in your income levels. Pursuing new passions or side hobbies may also be lucrative, increasing the figures on your tax returns. Significant changes in job status could mean your estate plan should reflect different goals. And with the new year tax year and substantial life changes come shifts in interpersonal relationships, for the better or worse. Changes in intended beneficiaries should be accounted for regularly.
While we often dread filing taxes, from the extensive paperwork to the waiting to even large payments due to the government or smaller-than-expected returns, getting the work done is always a relief. You can double that relief by taking those recently collected piles of paperwork to an estate planning attorney to start drafting your documents, update your plans, or evaluate whether any changes should be made.
Many people may think estate planning is too expensive and time-consuming, or not for people below a certain income level. All of these concerns are false—everyone needs to protect their assets, and a skilled estate planning attorney can make the process painless. An estate planning attorney can help you every step of the way, just like an accountant can help walk you through your taxes.
Colorado Estate Planning Attorney
Whether you are just beginning to think about estate planning or need to update pre-existing plans, call a Boulder estate planning attorney. The team at Braverman Law Group serves clients all along Colorado’s Front Range, including Boulder, Denver, Erie, Fort Collins, Estes Park, and more. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our trusted attorneys, give us a call today at (303) 800-1588.