Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oak Lawn Estate Planning | The Need to Follow Up

The problem with any plan is complacency. With the big three changes always happening, you can not rest on your estate plan forever. The big three being, 1) changes in the laws that effect your estate plan, 2) changes in your assets, and 3) changes in your family structure. In light of this obvious and inevitable change that will occur in the real world, people are stuck believing that their static plan for their assets will be good forever. It is like taking a picture today, only to be curious about why you do not look like this 20 years later.

 The excuses are endless. It costs too much money, it is impossible to know how many changes should prompt me to re-evaluate my plan. I don't have time to update my plan. The list goes on and on. I am always perplexed by the ignorance of people. Good intentions are not enough. You need to take action. If I could yell this any louder, I would lose my voice and my neighbors would be mad at me. You need to take action. If your estate plan provides for your darling two children, who are now both college graduates and getting married themselves, you are long past time. I will give you a rough guide to go by, for determining your re-evaluation period.

No major changes to the big three (see above) - every 7-10 years
A major change to any one of the big three (see above) - every 3-5 years
A major change to any two of the big three (see above) - every 1-3 years
A major change to all of the big three (see above) - see your attorney immediately

If you have a decent relationship with your lawyer, you can probably ask him or her to review your estate plan, and there will be no changes that need to be made or only a minor change. In most cases, this minor change will cost very little and you will now have a current estate plan. In most cases, you would not need to draft a new Will or Trust. All that will be needed is a codicil to your current Will. I can not stress enough how frustrating a stale Estate Plan can be. In some cases, a stale Will or Trust can frustrate the entire purpose that it was meant to support. Please keep you Wills current. As always if you would like to know more about the Will, Trust, and Power of Attorney Process contact:

Law Office of Jonathan W. Cole
5013 W. 95th St.
Oak Lawn, IL 60463
(708) 529-7794

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