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What's One of the Most Important Elements in an Estate Plan?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Wednesday!!! I hope those of you that celebrate had a fabulous Easter.  My travels made me lucky enough to sneak away and walk around Walden Pond, it made for a glorious afternoon.  It was so nice to be outside and see all the intricacies of the changing season.  This change has reminded me how the ones closest to us can change just as drastically as the changing season.  This occurs for a variety of reasons, but it started to make me think, what’s one of the most important elements that one can have in their estate plan? The answer, flexibility!

I repeatedly hear that one of people’s biggest concerns is that they will not be able to change their estate plan.  Rest assured, so long as you have mental capacity, you typically have the option to change your mind!  Documents that you can change upon execution are your  Will, Revocable Living Trust, Guardians for Minors, Medical Proxy, Power of Attorney, HIPAA Release, and Living Will.   

Below are some of the common reasons why people change their estate planning documents:

  • The person whom you’ve selected is no longer alive or is incapacitated.
  •  You have seen the way your nominee has handled somebody else’s estate and you no longer think they are the right Trustee or Personal Representative.
  • You’ve realized that the person you selected for your Medical Proxy or Power of Attorney may not be as medically or financially savvy as you believed.
  • Your children have grown, their personalities have changed, and the people you originally selected as guardians may not necessarily be the right fit.

The list can go on and on, more reasons can be found here.  My point is that you always have options.  One of the reasons why I repeatedly tell people that estate planning cannot be a onetime endeavor is for some of these exact reasons.  The bottom line is, people change, family’s change, and needs change.  Do not feel like you are married to a plan just because you signed on the dotted line.  The only thing that you can do is plan the best that you can under current circumstances and know that you have the freedom and flexibility to change your mind down the road.

If you’re starting to reconsider some of the nominations in your own estate plan, please contact us.  We’re happy to take a look at where you stand today and customize a plan that makes most sense for you in the now. 

 

Until next time,

 

Amy