Wondering Whether You Need to Update Your Estate Plan? Yes, You Do and Here’s Why
Please allow us to be frank. It’s unrealistic to think that a piece of paper you draft, reflecting your life at a certain time, will work when your life has completely changed some years later. We’ll use the Kendrick family as an example.
Posted on June 20, 2016
Meet the Kendricks
Meet Bill and Karen Kendrick. They got their first estate plan in place when their daughter, Jessica was born 30 years ago. They updated it when their son Steve came along 4 years later. They attended one of our living trust seminars 10 years ago and got a fantastic trust-based plan in place, protecting themselves, their children, grandchildren, and dog, Sadie.
Unfortunately, the Kendrick’s didn’t join our client maintenance program; instead, they elected to take on the responsibility of calling for updates themselves. Life got busy and, as you might guess, that didn’t happen.
Here’s what’s changed in their lives in the last 10 years. Jessica and Steve are now adults and through college.
- Jessica has married and now had two daughters. One of the girls may have autism.
- Steve is also married and is expecting his first child.
- Karen’s mother is now living with them.
- They bought a vacation home in Florida.
Do you think their estate plan will still work the way they want it to?
Changes in Your Own Life
The Kendrick’s have experienced a lot of changes, but those changes might be typical of what 10 years brings. Think about the changes in your life over the past 10 years - or - since you last updated your estate plan.
Have you moved? Do you have more children or grandchildren? Have you started a business, suffered health problems, or purchased a new home? Do you have new accounts and investments? Do you now care for a parent, pets, or dependent children? Have you remarried, gotten divorced, or retired? Has someone you loved died? Have friends named in your plan as trusted helpers moved away or has your relationship changed? Are your children now adults and able to help you? Do you want to help with grandchildren’s college or dance lessons? Do you see the world in a different way?
Many things have happened in the past 10 years. Your estate plan needs to reflect the changes in your personal life, financial situation, and goals. There have also been changes in the law and we continuously learn to protect our clients in better and better ways, so the way we do things has changed.
Is Your Estate Plan Out-of-Date?
If you’ve experienced changes like the Kendricks or it’s been more than 3 to 5 years since you updated your estate plan, it’s time to come in. We’ll review your plan and chat with you about what’s been happening in your life, so we can get you and your estate plan up-to-date, reflecting where your life is now.
More from our blog…
Why You Should Designate Beneficiaries
According to WealthCounsel, over a third of Americans have experienced or witnessed familial conflict when someone dies without an estate plan. While most people believe having [...]
Affordable Housing Options for Low-Income Older Adults
Safe housing that meets older adults’ needs is essential to healthy aging in communities. Many seniors with low, fixed incomes struggle to balance housing expenses [...]
Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes: What’s the Difference?
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are long-term housing and care options for older adults. Although people sometimes use the terms assisted living and nursing [...]
How the Debt Ceiling Bill Could Impact Medicaid Enrollees
For adults who rely on Medicaid, a bill recently passed by the House may mean holding a job would become necessary to continue accessing benefits. [...]