We have all heard of the “Three R’s” as they apply to education, but there are another set of R’s that are relevant to the topic of estate planning. And unlike reading, writing, and arithmetic, these three actually all do begin with the letter R.
The first step along a path is to recognize the fact that you need to get on the path in the first place. Many people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning, feeling as though it is something that you can always think about later. But the fact is that you never know what the future holds, and there’s more to planning for the future than the distribution of assets to your loved ones after your death. Things like possible incapacitation must be addressed, and you need to be financially prepared for the possibility of a stay in a long-term care facility at some point.
Once you realize that you should have an estate plan in place you must actually take action and create a legally binding plan. Preparing for all the eventualities of aging including the transfer of all of your assets to your loved ones after your death is an extremely profound endeavor. The only way to go about an exercise of this magnitude is with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney.
Life does not take place in a vacuum, and the twists and turns that you experience as you move forward over the years are oftentimes going to impact your existing estate plan. Things like additions and subtractions to the family and changes in marital status are going to result in the need for estate plan reviews and revisions.
If you were to pass away with an out-of-date estate plan your resources could be distributed in a manner that is completely out of line with your wishes. This is something to keep in mind and it is one of the reasons why having a good working relationship with an estate planning attorney is highly recommended to those who are serious about covering all their bases with the well-being of their families in mind.