I find that a large percentage of the people I speak with nowadays who had Trusts, Wills or other estate planning documents prepared over five (5) years ago have undergone significant changes in their lives. Although going through the process of having theses documents prepared is to be applauded, you must have your documents reviewed at regular intervals.
As time marches on and your life changes, events like marriage, divorce, the death of a spouse or child, the marriage of children, the birth of grandchildren, the onset of health issues, and buying and selling real property, significantly changes the way people view the distribution of their property after their death.
By having your Will, Trust or Power of Attorney documents reviewed regularly, you ensure that what you own will get to who you want with as little cost, time and formality as possible. You will make sure that the Trust you have is funded properly by transferring your property in the Trust. You will protect the assets that you have accumulated over your lifetime. You will make sure that those assets have actually been transferred to your Trust.
Effective Power of Attorney documents can avoid the necessity of petitioning a Court to place a Conservatorship and save you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in court costs and attorney’s fees. Power of Attorney documents allow you to name your own Agents. You ensure that the people you want will act as your agents to make your medical and financial decisions when you are physically and mentally incapable to make the decisions on your behalf. This is done privately, efficiently and without the need to petition a Court.
It is always a good idea to make sure that someone in your family knows where you keep your Estate Planning documents, financial records, safe deposit box key and the like. If you don’t keep you records in a central place…..and tell someone about it, it could result in delay and mismanagement of your estate.
Be proactive and take the time on a regular basis to make sure that your existing estate planning documents are up to date and accurate. You will be acting responsibly and ensuring that your family legacy is protected. My office is conveniently located in Porter Ranch. I will visit you in your home at your convenience if you wish. I will do the same for you whether you have a Trust or Will already or your documents reviewed, amended or updated.
Thomas P. Christopher, Esq. is an Estate Planning Attorney who helps families, seniors and business owners with plans that transfer assets informally without involving the Courts. Call or Contact Christopher Law Group, Inc. today at (818) 360-9500, 11260 Wilbur Ave., Suite 105, Porter Ranch, California 91326. www.christopherlawgroup.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.