More than half of all Americans don’t have a formal estate plan, meaning no will, no trust, no powers of attorney, no trust. The other Americans have some form of an estate plan, but most of those folks don’t realize that estate planning is a life-long process. Estate planning is not a “once and done;” don’t stop now.
What Would an Experienced and Qualified Estate Planning Attorney Say?
What do you think an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney would say when he or she reviewed your estate plan?
- Would it surprise you to hear that your estate plan may not work?
- What if you heard the words, “You’ll unintentionally disinherit your children.”
- Do you think you’re assets are going to avoid probate? Maybe/maybe not.
Many existing estate plans that we review won’t work, meaning that they won’t do what our new clients want them to do. Estate plans often don’t work because they are not up-to-date. Some others were either deficient from the outstart or failed to address an important planning concern, such as taxes, property transfers or beneficiary protections, among others.
Every Estate Plan Faces These Changes
Each and every estate plan should be reviewed every few years – sooner if there are significant life changes.
These are some of the common changes any estate plan may face:
- Changes in state and federal law
- Change in goals, family situation, and finances
- Change in available planning strategies (experienced and qualified estate planning attorneys continue to develop new and better ways to meet clients’ goals and needs as laws and circumstances change)
If it’s been more than a few years or you’ve moved to a new state or had a significant change in your health, family situation, finances, or goals, your current estate plan may not work. Because estate planning is a life-long process, your plan needs to be reviewed by an estate planning attorney.