“Life does not stand still,” wryly observes the American Bar Association in a chapter of its estate planning document titled “Changing Your Mind”. After you’ve crafted your initial estate plan, that’s hardly the end of the process, the ABA stresses, because a number of things can happen to make document changes necessary:
- you have more children
- you acquire more assets
- you have a falling-out with friends or relatives
- your children grow up
- you have new grandchildren
- you and your spouse divorce or separate
- the law may change
- you’ve bought or sold a business
- you’ve bought or sold real estate
- you retire
So, how do you make changes in an estate plan?
1. by writing codicils to your will (amendments):
2. by changing your tangible personal property memorandum (a separate document that is referred to in a will)
3. by revoking a will and creating a new one
4. by amending or creating a trust
5. by changing beneficiary designations
Don’t changes cost money, you may ask? The cost of legal services is a concern for every client. The attorneys at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates, PC make every effort to minimize the costs and expenses of legal representation. Whenever possible, Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates, PC offers legal guidance at a fixed fee. When a client has a question or concern about his or her estate planning, we are happy to respond without “running the clock”; emails and phone calls are free of charge to our estate planning clients.
We often find it necessary to remind our clients that proper estate planning isn’t only about assets and how and to whom you want those assets transferred. A complete plan also incorporates your wishes about personal care should you become ill or incapacitated. Could you change your mind about those things as well? Some developments that might play into those kinds of change-drivers include:
- New treatments and therapies are discovered that open up different possibilities for “aging in place”
- Changes in estate planning law affect decisions about qualifying for Medicaid
- You’re moving to a new state with a different set of laws and a different set of Medicaid eligibility requirements.
At Geyer Law, we know – life does not stand still – and neither does your estate plan!