How to Make Estate Planning the One Resolution you Keep in 2017

We make them with the best of intentions, New Year’s resolutions. At the end of the month up to 40% of us will resolve to accomplish something in 2017, say researchers at the University of Scranton. Yet, not unsurprisingly, a mere 8% of us will actually keep those resolutions and succeed in our goals1.

Some of the most important resolutions we will set center on family and money. Though estate planning doesn’t typically come to mind when you think “resolution,” a thoughtful plan can help you achieve your goals for both. By taking advantage of these simple planning tips, checking estate planning off of your “to-do” list may be the one resolution you actually keep this year.

Make a Resolution to Plan

The process of estate planning is ripe for procrastination since so few people understand it and- more commonly- so few people are inclined to contemplate their own demise. Yet, planning for the unthinkable remains the best thing you can do to protect your money, your health and your family.

“I have a will, isn’t that a plan?” (The 5 documents every parent needs to have)

It’s true, a Will is essential, chiefly because it names long-term guardians for your children (the people who will raise, love and care for your kids until they are adults) and details how and to whom you want your money and property distributed. However, all wills must be approved by the Probate Court and become public documents. Moreover, a Will is not a comprehensive estate plan.

Whether you have $5 dollars or $50 million, a Kids Protection Plan is critical if you have kids under the age of 18.  A KPP, is unique to our firm, and ensures your children will be protected – no matter what.

If you own a home or have more than $25,000 in the bank or investments, life insurance or retirement accounts, you want to have a Living Trust in addition to your Will, which will keep all of your assets private and make it as easy as possible for your family manage.  You can set up your trust to minimize state and federal estate taxes, and protect your kids’ inheritance from being lost to divorce, creditors and lawsuits.

It’s critical that while you are healthy, you name the people (Agents) you want to make health care and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated.  Make sure that your Health Care Proxy and Durable Power of Attorney has language that authorizes your agents to obtain full access to your medical records and finances, respectively.

How to make an estate plan the one resolution you keep

Successful New Year’s resolutions are simple and tangible. You can begin to plan and check “estate planning” off of your to-do list by thinking about these three things.

  • Consider your children. Estate planning helps you protect your children throughout their lifetimes. When they are young, you need a guardian if something should happen to you. When they are older, you want to have the financial capacity to send them to college. When you are gone, you want them to enjoy a legacy that includes passing on your values as well as your assets.  Only estate planning can do this for you.
  • Review beneficiary designations. Life insurance policies, retirement accounts, investment accounts and other financial vehicles all require you to complete a beneficiary form to designate who will receive the assets upon your death. With no form, state law will govern, and your assets may go to those you never intended, or worse, to your estate, to be depleted by taxation. Be sure you have beneficiary forms on file and that they are reviewed at least annually.
  • Consider your own health. If you become incapacitated, who will be making your decisions for you? Do you want your life to be prolonged via life support no matter what? Whatever your wishes are, they won’t necessarily be followed unless you have executed a Living Will or assigned powers of attorney.

Make 2017 be the year you create your estate plan – or, if you have a plan that hasn’t been reviewed in the last three years, the year you update your plan to reflect your life. The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm helps parents protect the people they love the most. Call us at 978-263-6900 to schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session, today. Visit for more information


David Feakes




David Feakes

P.S. Want to get started on the most important planning you’ll ever do for your family? Give our office a call at (978) 263-6900 to get started. You’ll be so glad you did.

David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area. David helps parents protect the people they love the most. If you would like to receive David’s exclusive, free report, “Six Major Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney,” you can get it right here.

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At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we answer your questions at your convenience; we stay in frequent communication; and we meet to discuss changes in life circumstances and in the law to ensure that your assets are protected.

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The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC is a unique estate planning law firm serving families in Massachusetts. Our team is committed to helping parents at all stages make sure their loved ones are completely protected if the unexpected happens, while making things as easy as possible for their families.

31 Nagog Park, Suite 301, Acton, MA 01720 | 978-263-6900 | [email protected] |