When was the last time you reviewed your estate plan? Do you know if it will work when you need it to and be a treat for your loved ones to manage? Or is there a nasty trick lying in wait? Get our Estate Plan Checklist to give your plan a quick audit.
It’s no secret that do-it-yourself (“DIY”) budget estate plans notoriously fall apart and set well-meaning people up for a nasty TRICK, instead of a treat, when the unthinkable happens. And the worst part is that it often costs families far more to fix these mistakes than it would have to work with an attorney in the first place.
You can learn more here about why they fail. Suffice to say, it takes personalized guidance from an attorney to ensure you are making the very best decisions and getting the plan that you actually need to protect your wishes and assets if something happens.
However, even older estate plans that are not DIY plans but designed by attorneys in the past need to be checked. Why? Life is full of changes (laws, relationships, finances, and health) and your plan needs to adjust to account for them. That’s why you can purchase the most expensive estate plan in marketplace and still watch your plan fall apart because your life cannot be summed up in a one-size-fits-all legal form that is never updated!
Remember, the purpose of an estate plan is to make sure that there are no surprises, oversights or loopholes waiting for your loved ones if you should pass away or become incapacitated for any reason. So it is good practice to constantly review it.
Many estate plans are focused on who should get what if you die, but will it also:
- Shield your assets from nursing homes or the state if you ever become disabled and need long-term care?
- Provide asset protection for your spouse, children, or other beneficiaries from lawsuits, bankruptcies, divorces, or mismanagement?
- Guarantee that your kids will be raised by the people you want, in a way you want, if the unthinkable happens?
- Ensure that your hard-earned money is immediately available for your loved ones rather than being tied up for months or even years in the probate court?
- Provide easy access to all of your assets and accounts (including online accounts and digital assets) or will your family be left searching for accounts and polices, or battling companies, especially online ones to gain access?
In the majority of cases, the answer to these questions is NO, causing much pain, sorrow and chaos for families in the midst of a crisis situation.
Don’t let your family find an unexpected TRICK in your estate plan if tragedy strikes. At the very least, have your DIY plan reviewed, so you know what exactly it does and does not cover should you pass away or become incapacitated during your lifetime. The financial and physical security of your family depend on it.
You are welcome to get started by downloading our easy to use Estate Plan Checklist.
Do you have questions about this or want to have a more detailed review of your plan? Do not hesitate to Contact Us to learn more about how we can support you with your planning.
The More You Know, the More You Grow…
Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He is all about family and has a passion for educating his community about trust and estate planning, veterans issues, and how to protect what matters most.