When considering whether to make an appointment to update your estate plan, keep your family in mind as you go through the inevitable changes of life. Not doing so can create financial and emotional burdens. That is not how you want to be remembered.
According to a recent Newsday article, “Make sure your estate plan keeps up with life changes, experts say,” estate planning may seem overwhelming and depressing because it deals with issues of aging, especially if it is something you continuously think about. Yet, planning your estate will give you peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens your family is taken care of, particularly if you have continuously updated your plan.
Let’s look at the overview of the process.
Most people believe estate planning is simply a set of legal documents that state who will receive your assets and property when you pass away. Yet, it also specifies who you want to make medical decisions, and who should make financial decisions if you are unable to do so yourself. More importantly, however, an estate plan that will take care of your family must make sure asset ownership is aligned with the planning documents; otherwise, these documents may be useless. Additionally, these assets must be tracked throughout your life.
Most people view their plan as a “one and done” situation, which is not true. While it is wonderful that you finally got your will and trust finished and signed, and you have your medical directives in place along with a designated individual to have your authority via power of attorney, estate planning does not end here. At least it shouldn’t.
What is likely to happen down the road after you create estate plan is that your assets will go out of alignment. It is important that in order to ensure the finical execution of your estate plan that your assets are continuously aligned. Part of our unique process at Family Estate Planning Law Group is that we have an ongoing Client Care Program, which includes continual tracking, alignment and verification of your assets.
Other life events that could change the organization of your estate are changes in relationships over time resulting in some of your pre-established designations needing to be changed. In addition, the birth or adoption of a child or a divorce in the family can affect your estate plan.
Finally, be certain to work with an experienced estate planning attorney who has the insights and legal knowledge to create a plan that aligns with your goals. It can be tempting to “do it yourself’ with an online will, but that has the potential to create more problems than it solves. You might save some money, only to cost your heirs thousands of dollars to undo the damage. The best thing to do for you and your family is to find an experience lawyer who has an ongoing client care program like Family Estate Planning Law Group. This will ensure the longevity of accuracy in your plan and to make sure your family is taken care of.
For more information on this, other topics, or our Client Care Program, visit our website and schedule your consultation today!
Reference: Newsday (March 4, 2018) “Make sure your estate plan keeps up with life changes, experts say”