January 2023.

Are your parents or your spouse starting to show signs of dementia? Do they have an updated power of attorney for medical and financial decisions? If not, you might need to consider guardianship.

Do you have your own business? Have you made provisions for probate avoidance in the transfer of your business interests – stock or LLC membership interests – and assets? Does your power of attorney include the power to handle your business accounts and assets?

Be sure to include a list of updated beneficiary and fiduciary addresses, telephone numbers and other contact information with your documents. Include a list of your assets, including custodians, account numbers and contact information. Add digital assets – user names, passwords, challenge question answers. This step alone can save a great deal of time when you are unable to help locate them yourself, and when time might be of the essence.

Review amounts of insurance. Do you remember what the amount of insurance was to cover? Is that amount still adequate? Is it too much? As our lives change, so do our responsibilities. The amount projected to pay off the mortgage, raise and educate the kids, and supplement the surviving spouse’s retirement may not be needed as you approach retirement with the house mostly paid off, the kids finishing college and retirement income your pressing need. Conversely, the amount you took out when you graduated college and were still unmarried without children might not be enough now to protect those you love most.

Review your retirement plan. Are you investing enough? Are the earnings assumptions still correct? You might need to save more, invest differently, plan to work longer or take a part-time job upon retirement. Better to determine that now, as unpleasant as it might seem, than to find out only after bad assumptions lead to a bankrupt retirement.

Talk to your parents, and to your adult children. Have they created and updated their plan? Or are they remiss in this regard? Encourage them to take this important step.

If your planning needs updating, make it happen. Consult with your professional advisors, and make sure that your planning meets your reality.


Attorney Tim Barkley
The Tim Barkley Law Offices
One Park Avenue
P.O. Box 1136
Mount Airy
Maryland 21771

 (301) 829-3778

Wills & Trusts | Estate Planning | Probates & Estates
Elder Law | Real Estate | Business Planning