The year 2000 was not that long ago – – right? It least it feels that way to me. But, for most of us, many changes have occurred – both expected and unexpected. Imagine a family with two elementary school children in 2000. Their estate plan likely would focus on providing for those children in the event a parent died. Trusts are created; guardians appointed. Now, in 2015, those children are young adults, hopefully working or studying. The grandparents who were great executor, guardian, and trustee candidates may have passed away or could find the task overwhelming. The family’s assets have changed and we certainly know that Texas land values- rural and urban – have increased dramatically. That 2000 estate plan may not serve the couple well.
Imagine also a couple that became empty-nesters in 2000. Their children were launched! Their retirement planning was well underway. By 2015, with retirement in full swing, grandchildren of all sizes fill the house at holidays. Special needs may have arisen for a part of the family or for the couple. An allocation of assets that seemed so simple fifteen years ago, may need more careful consideration, balancing gifts to heirs and considering trusts for long-term management. Disability planning feels more critical, requiring powers of attorney and an Directives to Physicians (Living Wills).
We like to say that one purpose of estate planning is to “give what we own to who we want, the way we want them to receive it, and when we want them to receive it.” Changes in the landscape of our lives requires us to re-evaluate whether the estate planning tools initially chosen make sense now. At Braun & Gresham, we want to ensure that all of our clients have the estate plan that best suits their needs. On Thursday, April 2nd, I will host a webinar on Updating your Estate Plan. Please join me to learn and ask questions.
For another perspective on updating estate plans, CLICK HERE to read Eleanor Blaney’s Wall Street Journal Blog on Why Estate Planning Can’t be “Once and Done.”
To register to attend Margaret’s Webinar on “The Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan” CLICK HERE.