A successful estate plan is an estate plan that works. An estate plan works if it does what you want it to do. The 3 keys to a successful estate plan are communication with loved ones, updating on a regular basis, and consultation with a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney. If you have all 3 keys, the door opens to a successful plan and your investment of time, effort, and money will be worth it. Importantly, your wishes will be honored. In other words, your estate plan will work.
Be sure to communicate with your loved ones regarding your estate plan. Let them know that you are engaging in the estate planning process, discuss your plan and allow them to ask questions, and tell them where you are keeping your estate planning documents and other important papers. You may even want to introduce them to your estate planning attorney so they feel comfortable calling for help when needed.
Also, be sure to consult with your loved ones before naming them as trusted helpers. Get their permission to name them in your estate plan. Don’t assume that they can handle the responsibility.
- Review your estate plan periodically and revise as needed.
Review your estate plan every three or so years or upon the occurrence of a significant event and, if necessary, make revisions and amendments. Such events would include a move to a new state, a new child, a marriage or divorce, a new business, and a significant change in assets or health.
Your plan only works if it meets your current intent and the current law. An update catches changes in your family, finances, goals, the law, and your estate planning attorney’s experience.
- Consult with a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney
Leaving your family’s well-being and your financial health to a form downloaded from the internet or from a book at the library is not wise. Problems are also likely if you seek a bargain basement deal from a non-lawyer or prepaid legal plan. Only a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney will ensure that you have a comprehensive, legally valid, individualized estate plan. This best ensures that you estate plan will be successful.