Keeping Up With Change; Estate Plans are no Exception
by Procino-Wells & Woodland, LLC
Contributed by Maria J. Mulrine, Client Concierge
Change is inevitable. Bob Dylan may not have been too far off when he sang “For the times they are a-changing.” Times really do change, sometimes slowly, but all too often in the blink of an eye. Those changes in everyday life can lead to those in your estate planning and sometimes it is beneficial to take a look at your planning and ask, “Does this still make sense?” Are all of the assets you treasure protected? Are your trustees and other beneficiaries still in the picture? Though signed, sealed and stored safely in a lock box- plans can indeed, and often need to, be updated. In consideration of this, we have designed a program to ensure your planning is up to date with your current wishes.
You may have thought your estate plan was complete. Aware of the consequences of not planning ahead, you took all the precautionary steps to get your affairs in order. With the guidance of a trusted attorney, you gathered all of your assets and placed them in the safe haven of a trust. Your home of thirty years where you raised your three children and still reside is safe from the wrath of the probate process and your treasured ‘64 Mustang will never be sold to pay for the costs of your long term care. All of your children will receive equal gifts, and your four grandchildren are included as well.
The benefit of pre-planning is the opportunity to put your affairs in order in conjunction with your specific desires. However, through ups, downs, twists and turns in life, many of us have learned to expect the unexpected. The following are likely happenstances that would prompt a change in your planning:
- Changes in laws
- Changes in health
- The birth of a child, grandchild or other person you want to benefit
- The marriage or divorce of a beneficiary
- The death of a designated beneficiary under your estate plan
- You acquire new assets
- You want to make a change to the persons in charge (such as Trustee, Executor or Agent)
Our Estate Plan Maintenance Program assures your planning accomplishes everything you desire. By enrolling in our program, you will receive planning paired with peace of mind. Memberships begin at a two year minimum and include quite a few perks. A biennial consultation, estate plan related phone calls, and changes to fiduciary designations are all included, as well as an overall review of your existing estate plan. With the value of family in mind, our program allows the opportunity to share a free consultation with a family member and for lifetime members, includes a complimentary consultation with you Successor Trustee following your death to review and discuss the estate administration process. Other benefits include invitations to members only Off-the-Clock workshops, “Trustee School,” and a discount on any future Trusts created to update your existing plan. We want to create an ongoing relationship with you and your family as a counselor, to make certain your wishes are honored.
Outdated estate plans can lead to disputes among family members, leaving legacies and relationships diminished. Assets that are not funded into a Trust are ultimately subject to an unnecessary probate proceeding, in which the comforting privacy of a Trust is lost. In more complex situations, assets untended to can cause unnecessary roadblocks when it comes to arranging long term care. A thorough, carefully constructed estate plan is truly a gift to your loved ones, leaving smooth sailing, and a living legacy long after you’re gone.
There is peace of mind in knowing your estate plan is always updated, in order, and ready for a smooth transition of assets to your loved ones. We invite clients, new and existing, to be a part of our new Estate Plan Maintenance Program. Contact Procino-Wells & Woodland at 302-628-4140 today.