10 Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan this Year
Happy New Year from the Phelps LaClair Team! We hope 2017 brings with it much success and happiness to you and yours.
Are you one of the lucky ones who checked estate planning off your New Year to-do list quite some time ago? If so, good for you! But don’t forget that life is never stagnant or predictable, and therefore your estate plan isn’t either. Many unforeseen events may take place that should be addressed in your plan, and we understand that. In fact, we plan on it. We have a unique Lifetime Service Package that includes a free checkup every three years after you set up a trust with us. It’s just a chance for you to sit down with us and make sure the trust you set up three years ago still applies today.
With that in mind, we’re starting a series of blog posts with 10 reasons to review your estate plan in 2017. We’ll be discussing things like changes in tax laws, making sure your trust is properly funded, and the latest and greatest tool for protecting your beneficiaries. Be sure to check in often and follow us on Facebook to stay updated.
So, without further ado…the #10 Reason to Review Your Estate Plan in 2017…
#10 Your marital status has changed
Sure, it may seem pretty obvious to update your trust if you’ve gotten divorced or married in recent years, but we all know that procrastination rears its ugly head in every circumstance. If you’ve been putting off updating your trust for any reason, please do not wait any longer. Your loved ones do not deserve any additional stress or trauma if you were to pass away unexpectedly.
Consider the case of the late renowned artist Thomas Kincade. With an estate worth millions, you’d think the “Painter of Light” would have taken the time to re-evaluate his estate plan after he and his wife divorced. But apparently, even the most gifted among us are prone to procrastinate, because he never got around to changing his will. Instead he left a couple of nearly illegible hand-written notes giving some property and assets to his girlfriend. Consequently, the girlfriend, ex-wife, and four daughters spent months embroiled in legal battles and probate. You can read more about the sad tale here if you wish.
Stories like this leave us shaking our heads. It would have taken maybe one hour of this man’s life to ask his attorney to make a few changes to his plan. Please don’t let this happen to you. If your marital status has changed since you created your will or trust, make sure that your wishes, whatever they may be, are spelled out plainly and carried out painlessly after your death.