September seems to be the month that for so many of us, more than any other time of year, truly straddles two seasons. Toes in the sand still kissing summer goodbye, we welcome football Sundays and pumpkin spice lattes. With kids back to school and new routines to settle into, what better time than now to turn our attention to estate planning?
If you are coming back down to reality from slower summer days, it’s totally normal that you could lose sight of the importance of estate planning, or even experience frustration figuring out where to begin. If you’ve never gotten around to creating your estate plan, we encourage you (without judgment) to start simply. You have assets (I.e., personal property, real property, bank accounts, retirement and /or investment accounts, vehicles, etc.), and the way to pass these items on to the people you want to receive them is to have an estate plan. Most everyone needs an estate plan, and by meeting with your local estate planning attorney, you can begin by putting your wishes on paper.
Think of this time as an opportunity – yes, an opportunity. It’s a time in your life where you have the ability to thoughtfully plan for your assets and loved ones, as opposed to having others do it for you, largely through guesswork, when you cannot. A well-informed plan is a key component to a stress-free life. So, even with summer coming to a close, with some basic estate planning under your belt, you can carry peace of mind with you through the colder seasons. If not now, when?
If you’re in the camp of having an existing estate plan, we applaud you, but in our rapidly changing world, that’s not enough. When is the last time you revisited your documents? More importantly, does your estate plan do what you designed it to do? While we often advise our clients that reviewing your estate plan every 3-5 years is a good rule of thumb, it is also the case that during some seasons of life, a lot of change gets packed into a very short span of time. Birth, death, marriage, and divorce are the obvious changes that come to mind that should serve as reminders to meet with your estate planning attorney. Other big (and sometimes small) life changes should be reflected in your estate plan. One of the most common reasons estate plans “fail” is because folks forget to update their plans, and as such, they’re largely ineffective. Take it from our team; making a habit of meeting with your attorney every so often is worth your time and energy.
September is sneaky; it’s always here before we know it. It’s the time of year we focus on setting kids up for success as they head back to the classroom. In that same vein, we encourage our clients to set themselves and their families up for success by laying a strong foundation for the future with a solid estate plan. Whether that means starting from scratch or improving upon what already exists, we encourage a visit to your estate planning attorney. Nearby one of our offices? We’ve got you covered: https://barburlaw.com/contact.
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