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How Long Has It Been Since You Signed Your Estate Planning Documents?

Time-4051269_640One of the challenges after you get your planning done is to review your planning to make sure that it is current. Unfortunately, a lot of people believe that once they complete their estate planning, they can now check that off their list and don’t have to think about it again.

We often forget that so many things in life can change on a moment’s notice.

For example, health, finances, divorce, unexpected changes in life, et cetera, this list could go on and on, but for the sake of this blog article, suffice it to say that a lot can change in our lives.

It is not enough simply to get the planning done and forget about it. I believe that once a year you should pull your documents and just take a quick look through them. I am not saying that you should hire an attorney and spend lots of money, but simply pull out the documents to get an idea of what it was that you had done and also ensure that nothing has changed.

Have your kids gotten married? Are there any divorces? Anyone have any new addictions or issues? Did a relationship with one of your children change in the past year? Do you have a new grandchild?  This list, too, could go on and on, but ultimately, I believe it is imperative to take a look just to make sure that everything is the way that it was intended to be.

Several years ago, we implemented a program called the Maintenance Program in our office. It allows clients who have plans with our firm to pay a small amount of money per year to receive unlimited access to speakers and maintenance appreciation events, as well as to a yearly meeting, where I talk about all the changes that we are seeing across the country and what we need to be aware of.

Probably the most important asset that the maintenance program provides is the ability for clients to come in and review their documents with an attorney to ensure that it is the way that they want it. For example, in our enhanced will plans, the Maintenance Program for an entire year is $295, whereas our hourly rate to meet with a client is $300 per hour.

Essentially, a client is paying less than one hour’s worth of time to receive access to monthly speakers and also have unlimited meetings with team members and attorneys to evaluate their plan. We are very proud of our Maintenance Program and have an extremely high retention rate for people who enter it.

I am not suggesting that an attorney who does not have one is in some way doing anything bad, but I do believe that those yearly reviews are essential. If you do not belong to a maintenance program or your attorney does not offer one, please take the time yourself to review and make sure that nothing has changed in the past year.

With the start of a new year this is a great time to make that time to review your documents. If you are in a maintenance program with our firm or another, please schedule your meeting with the attorney and sit down and go through it to make sure that you’re all on the same page and that the plan is going to work the way that you intend it to and that you’re taking into consideration any changes that may have occurred.

To find out more about our maintenance program, just click here and fill out our short form and we’ll contact you to go over your options. 

 

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jeffrey bellomo

Jeffrey R. Bellomo, Esquire is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation under authorization of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. As the owner of Bellomo & Associates, LLC he advises families about the legal challenges facing them today. He counsels clients and provides solutions on: Asset Protection, Special Needs Trusts, Wills, Trust Design, Guardianships, Medicaid and Estate Planning & Administration. His mission is to provide professional caring service to all his clients.

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