A Real Life Estate Planning Scenario
A few months ago, I was with a client and his health was failing.
I asked him how long how it had been since he reviewed his estate plan.
He said, “Oh a few years ago and it’s all good.” I asked if we could call his estate attorney to check in and he accepted the invitation.
It turned out his estate plan was not up to date, it had several gaps, and critical pieces of information were missing.
Actions were taken to have his current desires reflected in his estate plan documents.
Probate and Your Estate Plan
Last week I was notified that he had passed away. Although, I was saddened by his passing, I was so glad he took the time to update his wishes and avoid a very drawn out probate process. Probate expenses are a major consequence of not planning your estate at all or not planning properly and correctly. Setting up a trust in advance can typically avoid probate and save you a great deal of money in court and other necessary fees.
Important Forms to Check
It is important to check your beneficiary forms every year for your IRA and other qualified accounts.
Your trust or will does not dictate nor control your IRA. They are separate assets. Whoever is listed as your beneficiary on your life insurance, 401-k, or IRA gets your money.
Please take time to update your estate plan and speak with those who you want to take over when you eventually pass. Life is short and unexpected events happen everyday.