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The Power of Estate Planning Resolutions for a Brighter New Year

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher, Esq. | Dec 06, 2023

When the New Year approaches, some of us aim to make a new start to enhance our quality of life. Beyond setting personal goals, it's an ideal time to update or create an estate plan.

Yet when people make resolutions, they don't always stick to them. Having solid reasons for setting goals may help you stay committed to reaching them.

If you want to make or update an estate plan, consider your family situation and values. An upcoming birth, marriage, or another major life change can motivate you. But you don't need an excuse. A desire to feel better about the legacy you will leave for those you cherish is reason enough.  

Putting resolutions in place involves time and energy. To increase the odds you'll complete an estate plan, set clear and achievable goals throughout the New Year.

Strategies for Achieving the Goal of Creating an Estate Plan

Drafting an estate plan can seem like a complex task. But breaking it down into steps eases the process. Before you start, see our Estate Planning Checklist for an overview. 

Based on the checklist, the first stage of your planning might include:

  1. Gathering documents you need, such as financial statements and property titles.
  2. Talking to people you want to be involved in your estate plan to get their thoughts.
  3. Discussing your plan with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Consider how much time you will need to complete each task. Depending on your schedule, tackle each step in weekly, monthly, or quarterly phases. 

For example, you can tie the first stages of the process into your tax preparation. You may also factor them into your holiday plans by talking to your loved ones. Your deadline for completing the discussion could be January 15, and for collecting documents, February 15. You might then arrange to consult an estate planning attorney and a financial advisor before March 15.

Achieving Your Estate Planning Aims

Without a clear plan or a commitment to your goals, you can lose steam. Here's how to set your intentions for the long term:

  • Remember your reasons for making an estate plan, such as leaving a legacy for your family or relieving the burden on those you love.
  • Include family members in your plans. Enlist an accountability partner, someone you update regularly on your progress who can also encourage you. Estate planning works best when it's a group effort.
  • Celebrate small wins: treat yourself to something you enjoy each time you complete a planning phase.
  • Seek professional support: consult an estate planning attorney and a financial advisor to stay on course. A financial planner may update you on any tax changes that affect you and your estate plan in the New Year.

Along the way, setting sensible milestones and deadlines keeps you focused to achieve your goals. Completing your estate plan and sharing your intentions with others can be a rewarding experience—one that also leaves no doubts about your future. 

For advice on leaving a lasting legacy, contact us online or call (207) 377-3966.

About the Author

Daniel J. Eccher, Esq.

Daniel J. Eccher, Esq. is the Managing Shareholder at Levey, Wagley, Putman & Eccher, P.A., in Winthrop, Maine. Dan's favorite problem to solve is helping clients figure out how to afford long-term care while having something left for their family.

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