It’s year-end time (and decade-end if we’re being technical). You’re probably seeing lots of end-of-the-year checklists. It’s that time of year when everyone starts doing their year-end planning (although you may have started planning about 6 weeks ago at the start of the quarter…). We end up in a “sprint” to the end of the year (and in this case also the end of the decade) and try to cram as much into this short period as we can. With that time upon us, I will normally see an increase in prospective clients on my doorsteps looking to get their estate plan done (or updated) before the end of the year. When the calendar changes over, those on my doorstep will have an estate plan on their “New Year’s Resolutions” list. But the motivation and desires are the same.

Among all the checklists, my financial advisor friend Tony sent out a Year-End Planning Checklist the other day. (When I meet with a client and they tell me they don’t have a financial advisor, I send them Tony’s way…) Much like in the legal world, financial advisors are getting ready for year-end and the start of the new decade.

Year-End Checklists

Tony’s checklists are even more detail-oriented than many others I have seen. Normally, it’s a few items to get done before the end of the year, without any specific times. Tony’s list, however, breaks down what you should do in November and what you should do in December. And if you want to take a time machine backward, you can even click the link back to October to see what you should have been doing instead of eating all that Halloween candy…

Perusing Tony’s list, a lot of the items are things that we also discuss in our estate planning sessions, including

  • Creating/Contributing to 529 Accounts;
  • Reviewing your beneficiary designations (this is homework for every client I meet with at a consultation);
  • Gifts to charities; and
  • Secure your identity from tax return-related ID theft.

There are many other items on his list, but if I listed them all out here, you’d have no reason to go read through the whole list yourself.

Next Steps

If it’s time to get that estate plan updated (or started), or if you have some business filings that need to get taken care of before the end of the year, call my office to set up a Legal Strategy Session and we can help you get on track for the final push to 2020 – (877) AMAYERS.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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