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Has Your Life Changed? Then So Should Your Will

Update your will

Ever look at the calendar and marvel at what year it is? Has that much time really gone by?

With time’s passage comes change: Babies are born, loved ones depart. We move to a new town, start a new job. Laws get revised. We discover a new passion, a new cause. When changes happen, it’s important that your will reflects them. Here are key categories to consider:

  • Timing: Did you write your will prior to 2001? A lot has changed in the world of estate taxes. For example, the amount you can leave to heirs without paying federal tax is much higher than it was years ago. It’s up to $13.61 million for an individual and $27.22 million for a couple in 2024.
  • Relationship status: A change in your marital or long-term relationship means you may want to alter your will and beneficiary designations.
  • Children: Perhaps you now have children or grandchildren, and you want to ensure you have provided for them. Or, you created a will when the kids were young and they are now grown and financially stable.
  • Residence: Legal requirements and taxes vary by state. If you’ve moved to a new state since creating your will, you’ll want to see what impact that may have.
  • Family and friends: Our connections with people sometimes shift over time. You may want to increase or decrease the amount left to certain individuals or add and remove them from your will or beneficiary designations.
  • Pets: Ensure that your pets are taken care of after you’re gone. Name a guardian you trust and assign any assets to provide for your pet’s food and veterinary care.
  • Charitable causes: If you have formed connections with certain nonprofits and want to take your support to the next level, you can set up gifts in your estate plan to ensure your values endure after your lifetime.

No Plan? Start Today!

If you don’t have an estate plan, don’t worry—you’re not alone. The good news is that now is a great time to get started. Here are the basic things your estate plan should include to give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind:

  • Will and/or trust: Your will determines how your property is distributed after you’re gone. A trust sets up how your assets are managed and distributed.
  • Beneficiary designations: Names the person(s) or charities you want to receive a specific asset, such as retirement plan assets or life insurance.
  • Power of attorney for finances: Gives a trusted individual authority over financial decisions if you are unable to make them.
  • Power of attorney for health care: Names a person to ensure your health care wishes are followed in the event you are unable to do it yourself.
  • Advance health care directive (aka living will): Documents your wishes to a doctor regarding life-sustaining care.

When creating or updating your will and other parts of your estate plan, we hope you consider the role Vail Health or Eagle Valley Behavioral Health has played in your life and how you can continue making a difference for years to come. Contact Aaron Ciszek at 970.569.7574 or and Anne Walters at 970.569.7648 or today to discuss your giving options.

Information contained herein was accurate at the time of printing. The information in this publication is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results.

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