2 Listener Questions about Estate Planning

Estate planning goes hand in hand with financial planning as part of a well-rounded strategy to ensure your golden years are as stress-free as possible. As an attorney specializing in estate planning, I often get questions on this topic from listeners and in this show we answer two of them.

1. Carl wrote in asking, “my Advanced Health Care Directive is over 20 years old, should I have it redone?”

The new HIPAA laws were enacted in 2004 and any powers of attorney for health care drafted before that should definitely be redone. Without a current document, doctors are not allowed, by law, to give information about the patient in their care, even if it’s a close family member. It’s actually a prudent idea to update advanced health care directives every 5 years or so. If you’re in the hospital, the older the document is, the less likely the doctors are to accept it, especially if there are a few different family members giving them conflicting information.

Also, don’t forget about children and grandchildren if they’re over 18 years old – they need advanced health care directives too.

2. Jessica asked, “I have an A/B trust from 2007 and I’ve never updated it; my net worth is around $3M; with the estate tax exclusion being as high as it is, do I still need an A/B trust?”

Listen in for the answer and explanation.