This is the most common mistake. One the things you want from an estate planning attorney is to help your family in times of crisis. One of the sad things I have heard many clients say when I ask who drew up their will or trust is “It was some guy in Dallas. He wasn’t very friendly and I don’t remember his name.” I want to have a relationship with my clients and their families, so when there is a death or disability, they know who to call to walk them through what they need to get done.
Your estate plan should be reviewed every three years to make sure it still expresses your wishes. I meet with my clients every three years for free to make sure that their families are protected. Frequently when I meet with a client to go over what has happened in their family, I will uncover things that need to be changed in their estate plan. For example, with one client I had in for the 3-year review, I asked him if there was any changes that he knew of that needed to be made to his living trust. He said there were not any. Then I asked him specific questions about what was going on in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives. When I got to his daughter, he said she had a car wreck and got a head injury. She was unable to remember numbers or handle money. Her husband was taking great care of her so she wasn’t a burden on the father. The father was leaving her over $100,000 outright. In her present situation, she was not going to be able to manage the money. In other meetings, I have uncovered former son-in-laws who were appointed executors, children and grandchildren with disabilities, and many other issues that needed addressing.
If your will or trust was created by me and I haven’t seen you in over 3 years, please give my office a call to schedule a free consultation to review your estate plan.