Happy New Year!!! I am looking forward to 2013 – a fresh year, with fresh opportunities. Though, I did not get off to a good start. In fact, I unfortunately caught a pretty bad cold as I rang in the New Year. It wore on me and really beat me up and it sure hasn’t wanted to let go! I think I am finally turning the corner, and can start to enjoy my 2013, but this last week got me thinking about doing an annual “health check.”
More than in the literal sense – my cold did get me to schedule an appointment with my doctor for my annual physical – the health check that I was thinking about was my family’s overall health – physical, emotional and financial. I am realizing the importance of taking the time at the beginning of each year to evaluate how things are going for us as a family and individuals.
Have you done this? If not, take a moment right now and consider it. Are you where you thought you would be? Are there things that need to be tweaked? What do you need to do to stay on track (or get back on track)? Have there been any changes in the family?
In my case, my wife & I will sit down and discuss our thoughts on our situation. Through this conversation we will take some notes and jot down some questions. We will take our thoughts and questions to the experts to help us truly understand if we are heading in the direction we thought we were, and if we are achieving our desired goals (such as asset protection, probate avoidance and succession planning). We realize that we don’t know it all, so we outline our thoughts to our trusted advisers who are able to incorporate them into actions and realities through their expertise.
I had to catch a cold to think about my family’s “health check.” I recommend that you skip the cold and just go ahead and talk with your loved ones, create an assessment, and then schedule an appointment with your trusted advisers.
Use this as a great leap off point for a fantastic 2013!
Contributed by MH Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney James P. Plitz
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