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The beginning of the New Year is always full of resolutions for many of us to make true improvements in our lives. The #1 resolution is to lose weight – but how about what weighs on many people’s minds at all times during the year…namely, money.

While we can’t help you get rich quick, there are some things you can do this year to take a lot of worry weight off your mind when it comes to your financial future and that of your family. Here are the first 5 of 10 estate planning resolutions for 2013:

Create/update estate plan with new taxes in mind. The fiscal cliff tax deal passed on Jan. 1 imposes new estate, gift and GST tax rates on Americans and you need an estate plan that reflects this new reality.

Review life insurance policies. Does your life insurance policy need to be adjusted to reflect life changes – i.e., your children are now independent adults? Life insurance policies are investments, and should be treated as such and reviewed periodically for efficacy.

Use asset protection strategies. To protect assets for future generations, your estate plan needs to incorporate important asset protection strategies that will shield assets from a child’s potential divorce or debt issues.

Make a plan for the family business. Many Californians have their personal wealth tied up in a family business. The estate plan for a business owner needs to address future ownership and management of the business and incorporate a buy-sell agreement if partners are involved.

Identify beneficiaries correctly. Incorrectly identifying a beneficiary for your retirement or other financial accounts can be disastrous. Your beneficiary designations must be specific for each account, as these designations will trump whatever is written in your will.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.