Have you followed through on the details after signing your estate planning documents drafted by your attorney?
Establishing an estate plan with a trusted attorney is a big deal. There are many considerations and decisions to be made, which an attorney guides you through such as – who will take care of your minor children if you are deceased? Who will make your medical decisions if you are incapacitated? Who do you wish to have your assets should you pass? How can those assets be protected and preserved? What about the house, the vehicle, the pet, the collectibles, the heirlooms, the jewelry, the funeral, etc.? Is a living trust necessary as a vehicle to fulfill your wishes after you expire? These are literally just a glimpse of the many tedious questions that need to be answered. Navigating through these decisions takes time and careful thought . . .
Congratulations, you just left your attorney’s office with a big black professional looking binder filled with your estate planning documents after signing them and writing a check for professional services. The weight of planning and documenting an estate plan is finally off your mind! Or is it? Are you done? Did the attorney give you homework, instructions to follow through on certain items, additional things to think about? Or can you just set the big black binder aside in a safe place until a life changing event happens?
An estate plan is a fluid process of keeping your financial matters in order and up to date so the estate plan you carefully thought through and signed works properly in fulfilling your wishes when the time comes. The plan needs to be executed while you are alive. Your assets need to be funded according to the estate plan. It needs to be periodically reviewed.
The bottom line is that every attorney does things differently with respect to drafting estate planning documents, providing direction and being hands on during and after the estate planning process. Don’t fall into the trap so many people do, which is not properly funding and periodically reviewing your estate plan you spent so much time and money thinking through. If you don’t periodically review your plan, it likely will take much more time, effort and money to compile your assets and determine how they are titled along with the beneficiary designations after your passing. This is all before determining how each asset is to be transferred which may or may not be according to your wishes laid out in your estate planning documents.
Make it easy on yourself and your family. Have On the Horizon, PLLC review and explain your estate plan at a high level, organize your financial assets and prepare a financial inventory while you are alive showing exactly where your assets will go when you pass. This provides peace of mind for you and alleviates the stress on your family when the time comes.
An inventory of assets needs to be prepared when you pass regardless of whether there was a formal estate plan or not. Why not do it while you are alive and still in control?