Even if you do not have an estate plan that you’ve created, New York State has one for you. And it’s likely one you won’t like. It may be time for you to review the plan New York State has for you and make more informed, empowered choices for your family.
If you have created an estate plan with a lawyer, or on your own, it may be time for a review and an update.
Estate planning is simply not something you do once, set it and forget it. In the same way your life, the law and your assets change, your estate plan must change as well.
Far too many people spend thousands of dollars on a plan, only to have it sit on a shelf getting stale, and then end up leaving their family with a huge mess they thought they had invested time and money to prevent.
Don’t let this be the case for your family. Your family is worth more than that. At bare minimum, your plan should be reviewed every three years. We do recommend that your Family Wealth Inventory (or listing of your assets) be updated annually. You may want to check to make sure you even have an asset inventory included with your plan. Most plans don’t have this included.
Unfortunately, most lawyers (and every do it yourself) system overlooks this and there are Billions of dollars in our State Departments of Unclaimed Property as a result. In addition to the minimum review every three years, your plan needs to also be reviewed in the event of any of these life changes:
- significant changes in the value of your estate;
- changes in your “income level or requirements,” such as retirement;
- an out of state move;
- job changes;
- changes to family situations, such as births, marriages, deaths, and major illnesses;
- changes to business interests;
- significant purchases or payoffs;
- major changes in insurance coverage; and
- the death or major illness of someone named as your executor, trustee, power of attorney, or child guardian.
As part of our standard service, we create a Family Wealth Inventory of your assets so nothing is lost to the State Department of Unclaimed Property when you become disabled or die. In addition, we review your plan at no additional charge every three years, and have membership program options to review your plan annually plus make changes to your plan at no additional cost to you. And, that’s just the beginning.
If it’s time to create or review your plan, contact us for a Family Wealth Planning Session. You’ll get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make informed, empowered decisions for yourself and your family. Because you and they are worth it.
This article is a service of Wheatley Pritchard & Associates PLLC, Personal Family Lawyer,® who develops trusting relationships with families for life. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session,™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk because this planning is so important.