Most things in life require regular maintenance, improvement and change. Our bodies struggle to support us if we fail to exercise, eat healthy, take our vitamins and visit the doctor regularly for a checkup. Our vehicles would fail to run if we avoided changing the oil, replacing broken or deteriorating parts, and never took it in to a mechanic for checkups or repairs. Our homes would become unlivable if we never cleaned, took out the trash, threw out old items, did necessary repairs and implemented needed improvements. This is the case with potentially all aspects of our lives. Life simply requires regular maintenance.
Because of this, it seems reasonable that your estate planning documents need to be reviewed and updated periodically. However, while this is obvious to us, we may have failed to make it obvious to our clients. We often get the comment that individuals feel they simply create a trust, put it up on the shelf and never think of it again. Well, you can do that if you choose. You can also stop eating right, taking out the trash, changing the oil in your car and not bother cleaning. However, the consequences of all of those actions – or lack thereof – can be detrimental in the long run.
Your life and the law change regularly, and these two factors are two of the main considerations that your estate planning is built upon. Because we want to ensure that your documents remain current with these factors and any others, we recommend that our clients come in for a free review of their documents every three years. This review will be similar to a check-up with your doctor (except that we won’t take your temperature or look in your ear). If the doctor meets with you, does his various tests and feels that everything is fine, he will shake your hand and tell you to have a great day and that he’ll see you next year. However, if the doctor does find a problem, he can go over the details with you and make recommendations on how to help or resolve the issue.
Often, we go through a clients trust, ask them questions about their current situation and are able to say, “Everything looks good here. Come back to see us again in a few more years.” However, there are other times that we discover major changes that need to be accounted for in their documents. Sometimes these changes are such that if the individual died before the changes were made, major problems could occur with avoiding probate and distributing the assets. By fixing the problem now, we can avoid a far greater problem in the future!
To schedule a free review of your estate plan – whether you created it at MH or with another firm – contact us today at 888.222.1328.
About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years. Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects. We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.