Estate planning isn’t about how much money you have, it’s about protecting what you have for you and your loved ones, today and in the future. An estate plan does so much more than protect your assets. It is a guide for you and your loved ones to follow when you need it most. Together, how do we protect our future against uncertainty?
Comprehensive estate planning helps you make your most critical decisions by answering key questions that include:
– Who will raise your children if you cannot?
– How will you support your loved ones after you are gone?
– What is the legacy you will leave behind?
– How will you teach your kids about your values and your family history?
– Who will make your healthcare decisions if you are incapacitated?
– Will your attorney be there for you in an immediate crisis?
– Will you lose everything if you or your loved ones need long-term care?
The great news is that each of these questions can be answered with the right estate planning. The key is to create an estate plan that can evolve and grow with you. A plan that ensures what you have is passed down to the people you love, in the way you want and when you want.
An estate plan means that your family and friends will not have to guess at your wishes, especially during a time that is likely to be extremely emotional and stressful. When it is completed, your estate plan insures that if you were to die today, you can be comfortable knowing everything will be taken care of in the way you want. But that’s today. What about tomorrow? Three months from now? Three years from now?
Even with completed estate planning in place, you still have to plan for the future. You know the familiar saying – the only thing constant is change? This applies to your estate planning, as well. Whether it’s making sure your life insurance policy is current, your decision makers can still act on your behalf or that the phone number you listed on your legal documents for your inlaws hasn’t changed… there’s always something to be on the lookout for. Not to mention, the changes to federal and California law that may impact your estate plan and, therefore, may require revisions.
We have worked with so many estate plans over the years. We know that the smallest lapse or change in your information can cause your entire plan to fail. Despite this concern, you are busy and need someone to help you remember to ask you about the important changes. It is for this reason, and for all of the changes on all fronts that could impact our clients’ estate plans, we created our Client Care Program.
The simple reason is we get it. We’re not only attorneys, but parents, and kids, and business owners, and decision makers. We get how quickly things can change and when they do, you need your attorney there for you. Not tomorrow, not next month, not a year from now. You need your attorney now! You need your updates now, too, and at a cost you can afford.
Our primary goal is to keep your estate plan current, relevant and of use. One of the worst things we see on a weekly basis is estate plans that fail. There are so many reasons why it happens but we have narrowed down the one solution everyone needs: annual check-ins and legal planning updates. The key to understand is that you need your estate planning attorney to be available when you need him or her. As you choose the right attorney for you and your family, ask your potential lawyer how he or she will protect you both now and in the future.
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’s all about family and passionate about estate planning, elder law, and teaching others how to protect what matters most.