In yesterday’s Time to Think blog, we talked about providing for the possibility of a trust protector, a special fiduciary that adds dimension and flexibility to an estate plan. This brings to mind the issue of also providing for the possibility of other contemporary planning approaches into our estate planning and making sure we understand what those modern choices are. To relate a brief story, recently clients who we will anonymously call John and Mary, recently came in to update their estate planning documents due to a recent change in their life circumstances. They did the right thing and their instincts were correct. John and Mary’s wills, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives were from 2004, simple documents drafted by a local general practice lawyer. Upon review, analysis of the old estate planning documents compared to today’s more leading-edge contemporary estate planning documents showed that the older documents lacked at least 12 to 15 points worthy of potential revision and modernization, not only to keep pace with changes in the law, but for purposes of adding scope, dimension, and flexibility to the planning. Through this process, John and Mary were able to educate themselves and their children about important new issues and properly update their planning. The point here is clear – updating estate planning documents on a routine basis is important, and that process should include a client education component involving a recognition of needed changes through review, analysis, and comparison in coordination with your planning goals.
Are you taking the time to think about this planning-related issue?
Stephen R. Elville is the principal and lead attorney of Elville & Associates, P.C., a leading estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning law firm in Maryland. Elville and Associates engages clients in a multi-step educational process to ensure that estate, elder law, and special needs planning works from inception, throughout lifetime, and at death. Clients are encouraged to take advantage of the Planning Team Concept for leading-edge, customized planning. The education of clients and their families through counseling and superior legal-technical knowledge is the practical mission of Elville and Associates. If you would like to set an appointment with Mr. Elville to discuss estate or elder law planning issues, you may contact him at 443-393-7696, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. #elvilleeducation