It may sound unusual, but did you know that your estate planning could fail? That you need to make plans so that you are always ensuring your estate planning is never out-of-date? It is something that none of us want to discuss, but we need to have this critical conversation sooner rather than later. Your estate plan, which you meticulously designed with your attorney to protect you, your loved ones, and your legacy in the event of death or disability, can change over time.
To start ensuring your estate planning is never out-of-date, these changes must be shared with your attorney.
Upon learning of your changes, your attorney can work with you to not only document these changes but update your current planning to reflect them. The changes that need to be made are also not only limited to those in your personal life. Changes could also emerge in state or federal law that necessitate you to update your estate plan as well.
Unfortunately, most of us are often too busy to think about our planning. While the first step is always to create your plan, the second step is to ensure that any changes that need to be made are completed with your attorney.
Let us share four tips with you here that you can use to help you ensure your planning is never out-of-date.
1. Check in frequently with decision makers. Your decision makers, such as your agent and your successor trustee, can be individuals you are relying on to care for you in a crisis. We have seen estate planning fail over the years because the selected decision makers, and even second and third choices, are unable or unwilling to act when the time comes.
2. Monitor state and federal law updates. Although you may not be a lawyer yourself, the news can update you on any big potential changes coming your way. Listen for issues, such as changes to the tax law, that you believe could impact you and do not wait to share them with your estate planning attorney.
3. Share changes in your family dynamic. Marriages? Deaths? Divorces? Births? Each of these life events can impact your estate planning. Again, do not wait to contact your estate planning attorney.
4. Consider enrolling in a Client Maintenance Plan. There are law firms, like ours, who endeavor to help you stay connected to your estate planning and the changes that can happen personally or in the legal arena. Consider working with an estate planning attorney who is committed to ensuring that your estate plan is always current.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers? We know it is unusual to consider your estate planning as a continuously evolving plan for your legacy, but we want you to think about it this way.
Do not hesitate to ask us your questions at any time.