Estate Planning is Overrated
- July 12, 2022
- By: Marcos Segrera
Just kidding. Quite the opposite, in reality. We consider ourselves some of the top cheerleaders for the estate planning profession. Hopefully after reading this you will be encouraged to give your estate planning a review…especially if it has been a few years or if you haven’t even begun the conversation.
Just look at some of the advantages of thoughtful estate planning:
- Provide for your immediate family
- Ensure assets goes to the right beneficiaries
- Minimize expenses and taxes
- Ease the burden on your family
- Support a favorite cause
- Plan for any kind of incapacity
- Reduce taxes that take place on your estate
- Establish trustees over your estate
- Provide for those who may need help
- Ensure a business continues with a succession plan
Throughout the year we encourage clients to review their plan. Granted, it’s probably not the most exciting activity on your to-do list, but you don’t want to let important details derail all the work you’ve done.
- Have experienced a change in family circumstances and you’d like to alter the amounts, timing, and/or recipients of wealth transfers under your plan;
- Want to confirm that your General and Health Care Powers of Attorney and Living Will are up-to-date, in light of any changes in state law or personal preferences; or
- Would like to refresh your understanding of your documents and the relevant rules.
Together, with your advisors you should aim to coordinate and comprehensively review key considerations that can inform and affect:
- Living Trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Powers of Attorney
- Living Wills
Whatever the case may be, it is important to go through this review periodically. Nevertheless, you might be reluctant to address the subject or review your documents on your own. This is natural, but we (along with your estate planning attorney) can help guide you through the complexities to ensure your wishes are carried out, and your family and assets are protected.
To facilitate a productive discussion, we have a checklist that outlines several considerations that are fundamental to an estate planning review: What Issues Should I
Consider Before I Update My Estate Plan
To make the most of your time, you can also work through this checklist, “What Issues
Should I Consider When Reviewing My Estate Planning Documents?”. If you answer “YES” to any of the questions, that’s a signal that you should dig a little deeper and identify the updates that may be needed to your documents.
While the checklist can help you spot good ways to identify all the different opportunities to consider, we always suggest you meet with your advisors to discuss your finances and goals, and to identify what the best opportunities are for you.
We encourage you to use these tools and speak to your estate planning attorney about this foundational piece of your overall financial plan.
As good ol’ Aristotle used to say “better the pain of discipline than the pain of regret”.