Q: Do I need my estate planning documents reviewed by an attorney? –Estate Planning Novice
A: Dear Novice:
The decisions you make in creating your estate planning documents are significant and will have an impact on the people you love if you become incapacitated or when you die.
So, the short answer is, yes. If you care about the experience of the people you love, and what they will have to deal with at the time of your death or incapacity, then yes, you need your estate planning documents reviewed by an attorney, both at the time you create them, and periodically throughout your life.
Many people mistakenly believe that once they have an estate plan in place they don’t need to think about it again.
The fact is, many life events warrant changes to your estate plan. And without the help of a skilled attorney, you risk overlooking or underestimating the impact of those changes. Births, deaths, income fluctuations, marriages, and divorces are all common life events that can dramatically impact your estate plan.
In addition, you need to review your assets, ideally annually, and ensure they are easy to find if anything happens to you plus that they are properly titled and beneficiary designations are updated. Otherwise, your planning documents won’t work.
Periodically review your estate planning documents and your assets with your attorney to ensure they continue to reflect your wishes and meet your family’s needs.
If you want to protect your assets and your wishes, start by sitting down with a Personal Family Lawyer®. A Personal Family Lawyer®, can walk you step by step through creating a legally sound estate plan that will protect and provide for your family no matter what happens.