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Checking Up On Your Estate Plan

Dallas McKinnon

Dallas McKinnon

By Dallas McKinnon, In conjunction with Lincoln Financial Advisors/Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.

You have an estate plan; you probably even remember creating it—making the decisions and pulling together the documents was probably a time-consuming and tedious effort. The initial process of creating an estate plan can be so painful and involved that people may avoid reviewing it again for years.

But your estate plan does not exist in a vacuum. Life events such as marriage, separation, divorce, births, deaths, relocations and tax law changes all impact your estate planning needs. By revisiting key elements of your estate plan annually, you can correct errors, make adjustments for life changes and guarantee that your current wishes are known. Here are some items to review:

Friends & Family

  • Beneficiary designations. Be sure that life changes make your beneficiary designation selections relevant and that they still reflect your current desires.
  • Legal roles. Are your powers of attorney and estate executor(s) still competent and can they represent you? Have either of you relocated, causing you to consider if someone living locally could carry out the responsibilities more efficiently? Some states have updated their forms and require a redrafting of your power of attorney; talk to your financial planner about your situation.
  • Long-term care insurance. Every person moving toward retirement or working in their sunset years should consider long-term care insurance. All you have to do is the math on the economic impact to a family of a nursing home stay. Long term care insurance can be an inexpensive alternative if the right policy is purchased at the right time.

Review of Assets

  • Property titles. Have you established ownership and survivorship in the way you intended? Is it supported by current state titling laws?
  • Business succession plans. A significant number of buy-sell agreements call for annual revaluation of the business that most people forget about. Not having an updated appraisal presents two concerns: You don’t have a current figure for the value of your business for your own planning, and in the event an owner or partner dies, an arbitrator without a true sense of the business will negotiate the reappraisal.
  • Life insurance. Do you still need your current policy; do you need a different policy? Is the policy performing as originally illustrated? Policies are affected by interest rates and the investment options. If you expect the policy to provide for a particular need, it is important to review its performance annually.

Legacy Instructions

  • Will. Your will is less likely to be contested as outdated if you have updated it every few years with your attorney.
  • Ethical will/letter of instruction. Does the letter you have drafted still reflect the message that you want to leave your heirs? Have there been changes to your will or estate planning that you want to explain or emphasize.

Staying Current

  • Tax law changes. Talk to your financial planner and accountant at least three months before the end of the year to see if tax law changes will negatively impact your current plan, you will have time to make any necessary adjustments.

Organization Eases the Task

Though it can be time consuming, it’s worth organizing your legal documents in a way that makes them easy to review and update. Be sure to keep these documents in a safe or fire-proof cabinet:

  • Document finder. Lists your legal documents and where they are stored. If access requires a key or password, include instructions on how to find them.
  • Estate planning summary. Includes a list of professional advisors and passwords for each account (including Web access). Adding the dates the documents were created can help prompt you to keep wills, powers of attorney and health care proxies up-to-date.
  • Net worth statement. Describes every asset, including account numbers, titling, beneficiaries and current value. This statement identifies areas for in-depth review and serves as an overview for your estate executor.

These documents ease the access of information for those who—in the event of an emergency, or if you become incapacitated—will need to know where to find your estate plan and the legal documents that will guide them in support of your wishes. Creating an estate plan is just the first part of managing your future; keeping it up to date is essential for the long-run.

Do It Right, Do It Now


Dallas McKinnon is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and President of McKinnon & Associates Private Wealth Services in Redlands.  He has lived in Redlands and helped his clients in the Inland Empire for over 20 years.  You can reach him at 909 363-4026 or at www.McKinnonandAssociates.com




Technology Summit Promotes Leadership Diversity in STEM Related Career Fields

multiracial students standing in a rowLocal Students to Gather at Harvey Mudd College for a Day of Learning and Mentorship from Top Technology Leaders. Academic Scholarships Sponsored by Southern California Edison 

POMONA, CA -Transcendence, an Inland Empire-based nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of under-served youth through collaborative endeavors, is pleased to announce the Inspire Technology Summit for high school students. Sponsored by Edison International, the Summit will take place Saturday, May 10 on the campus of Claremont’s prestigious Harvey Mudd College. The full-day Summit is designed to inspire the next generation of Information Technology leaders and to identify paths for increasing diversity in technology career fields.

“We have a tremendous responsibility to increase the numbers of women and minority groups in technology and math related careers,” said Michael D. Lacy, Board President for Transcendence. “We believe direct engagement between the youth in our community and technology leaders from the corporate world will be a catalyst to enhance opportunities for under-served students.”

Inspire is designed as an active response to data indicating that many minority groups and females are dramatically underrepresented in technology related fields and corresponding leadership positions. The summit will provide inspiration from leaders in technology roles, networking opportunities and resources necessary to excel in technology-driven careers. According to data compiled at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, in 2013 only 22 percent of  California students taking the Advanced Placement exam in computer science were girls, 1.5 percent were Black, and 8 percent were Hispanic.

Harvey Mudd College (HMC) a private, liberal arts institution of math, science and engineering is the appropriate setting for the leadership summit. HMC educates engineers, scientist and mathematicians to become leaders in their fields and have a clear understanding of the impact their work has on society.

“Diverse teams produce better solutions and given the importance of technology in solving the major problems facing the world, we especially need diversity in tech careers,” said Harvey Mudd President Maria Klawe in stating why promoting technology diversity is important to HMC.

Edison International partnered with Transcendence to be Inspire’s presenting sponsor. Their grant also provides financial scholarships to be awarded to several exception high school students.

“Edison International is proud to partner with Transcendence for the Inspire Technology Summit because our philosophy of giving is that all people should have opportunities to do well,” said Tammy Tumbling, director of Philanthropy & Community Investment for SCE.  “STEM education is a major focus for us because as an energy company, we recognize the skills needed for our future workforce and our country. For that reason, we partner with organizations that promote the inclusion of minority, low-income and underrepresented students in STEM fields.”

Students may register to attend the summit or apply for a scholarship by visitingwww.WeAreTranscendence.org or by calling (909) 300-5428.  The summit will start at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m. on May 10.  All high school students are welcomed to participate. Minority students, female students, first generation college candidates, and students from local under-served communities are especially encouraged to attend.




Tony Award-Winner “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” Opening Night in Los Angeles

Alvin Crawford (center) and the cast of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin, book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and musical score adapted by Diedre L. Murray. Directed by Diane Paulus, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” previews at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre April 22 and opens April 23. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.  Photo by Michael J. Lutch

Alvin Crawford (center) and the cast of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin, book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and musical score adapted by Diedre L. Murray. Directed by Diane Paulus, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” previews at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre April 22 and opens April 23. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.
Photo by Michael J. Lutch

The Tony Award-winning musical “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” makes its  triumphant debut at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, opening Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. (Preview April 22.)

“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy  Heyward and Ira Gershwin, features one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led  by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus (“Pippin,” “Hair”), Pulitzer Prize-winning
playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”), and two-time Obie Award-winning  composer Diedre L. Murray (“Running Man”).

The cast, which includes Nathaniel Stampley and Alicia Hall Moran as Porgy and Bess  (respectively), also features Alvin Crawford as Crown, Kingsley Leggs as Sporting Life, Sumayya Ali as Clara, Denisha Ballew as Serena, Danielle Lee Greaves as Mariah and David  Hughey as Jake.

In addition, the cast includes Dan Barnhill, Vanjah Boikai, Adrianna M. Cleveland, Roosevelt André Credit, Cicily Dainels, Dwelvan David, Nkrumah Gatling, Tamar Greene, Nicole Adell Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Quentin Oliver Lee, Cheryse McLeod Lewis,
Sarita Rachelle Lilly, Kent Overshown, Chauncey Packer, Lindsay Roberts, Fred Rose and  Soara-Joye Ross.

This new adaptation of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” was specifically created for Broadway and features a revised book in a musical theatre format and jazz-oriented musical arrangements. The classic story is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theatre’s most exhilarating love stories. Based on DuBose Heyward’s novel “Porgy” and the play of the same name, which he co-wrote with his wife, Dorothy Heyward, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” includes such legendary songs such as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “I Got Plenty of

The creative team also includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer Esosa, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, sound designer ACME Sound Partners, music supervisor Constantine Kitsopoulous and music director/conductor Dale Rieling.

The revival of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” had its world premiere at Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater during its 2011/12 season. The production moved to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway for a limited engagement with an official opening on January 12, 2012. “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” closed on September 23, 2012, after 322 performances, making it the longest running production of “Porgy and Bess” to ever play Broadway.

Tickets for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or in person at the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.