Top 3 Estate Planning Strategies for 2021

As we close on a challenging and difficult 2020 for so many, clients ask me which are the most important estate planning recommendations for the coming year. Here are my top 3: 1) Update Your Existing Estate Plan. A lot has changed in 2020. Covid has affected how medical directives are drafted and used. Enhanced financial powers have been added to powers of attorney. Lastly, the pandemic has proven trusts are typically the best option to handle assets when a loved one is incapacitated or passes away. For those solely relying on a will, probate courts are delayed due to the pandemic more than ever before. 2) Consider Asset Protection. Many of my clients are concerned about the catastrophic costs of long-term nursing home care should they need it. Asset protection trusts can protect your assets against lawsuits, creditor claims, and most importantly, Medicaid spend downs incurred when a loved one runs out of money in a nursing home. 3) Taxes. 2021 will bring in a new presidential administration and congress. Although it is not certain how the tax code will change, it is certain tax rates will not remain the same. Consider reviewing whether maximizing the use of your current gift and estate tax exemption amounts make sense to take advantage of the current high rates.
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