After devoting so much time and energy to creating the perfect estate plan for your family, it is not surprising that you may be hesitant about starting the process all over again. Fortunately, estate plan modifications are often far less complicated than the process of actually creating the plan to begin with. Do not let fear of the work ahead keep you from making sure that your estate plan is up to date.
Five Reasons Why Updating Your Estate Plan Is Not Difficult
Are you still unsure as to whether an estate plan modification can be accomplished in a simple and straightforward manner? Consider the following:
- You’ve already done a lot of the work. What do we mean by this? You’ve already gathered all of the important information required to create an estate plan. This includes names, birthdates, addresses, and account information. While it is a time consuming process, you have already done most of this work—it may just need a little updating.
- In many cases, you simply need an amendment to a living trust, rather than having to create an entirely new trust. You are likely used to seeing large, multi-page trust documents. An amendment is often just a short summary of changes to the trust, possibly taking up only one piece of paper.
- Updating documents like advanced directives and powers of attorney is usually relatively simple. Instead of starting from scratch discussing what these documents mean and considering your options, your attorney may just want you to do an update so that the document is more current. Other changes may be unnecessary.
- If your assets are already titled in your living trust, an amendment to the trust or other estate planning documents will likely have little or no bearing on the titling of your assets. All that work you did while funding your trust is still effective.
- Updating your estate plan often involves a less detailed analysis of your overall estate and financial picture. You’ve already done much of the work and laid out various options and scenarios. Now, your attorney may be suggesting some minor tweaks. As a result, the updating process can usually be accomplished in fewer (and shorter) office meetings. We know this is helpful when you are trying to keep visits to our Anaheim office to a minimum. Your time is valuable!
Some people fail to update their estate plan because they think it will be an overwhelming process. However, estate plan modifications are often far less complicated then you think. Now that you understand how simple an estate plan update can be, we encourage you to share this article on Facebook. Help your friends and family understand the importance of keeping their estate plans current.