A few years ago I was reading a financial book and got to a chapter on wills and trusts. As I was reading, I decided to stop and run downstairs to my office to review my will.
To my shock, I hadn’t updated my will or trust since 2001! Ten years previous since I had given any thought to how I would leave my estate and care of my family.
What shocked me so much was just how out of date it was.
My daughter was a minor when I wrote the original will, and I had named an executor and guardian to care for her, which now was no longer needed.
That day I picked up the phone and called my attorney to set up a time to review my will and trust.
Since that day, I’ve reviewed my will two more times due to changes in circumstances.
My daughter is now old enough to be named as executor and recipient of my estate. I’ve given her Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy in case it’s ever needed. Soon I’ll be a grandmother and will review my will again to include provisions for him.
The point of this quick post is to encourage you to get your will and trust out today and see what needs to be updated. Then contact your attorney and set up a time to take care of it immediately. And, if by chance you don’t have a will, please establish one.
Protecting your assets and your family are two of the most important and critical steps to your overall financial plan.
It doesn’t take more than an hour to review your wishes with your attorney. She’ll draft the appropriate documents and send them to you for review. Once you’ve signed them, she’ll keep a copy and give you a copy for your records.
When I updated my will, trust, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy the last time I set up a special section in my office with all important files and papers. It’s actually a separate drawer that has all financial paperwork and information my daughter will need when I die.
I went over all contents, showing her financial paperwork, legal documents and anything else she will need to take care of my estate. I also gave her a list of all my passwords for all accounts.
She’ll need all this information some day, so letting her know where she can find these documents now will reduce her stress during an otherwise stressful time.
Do your family a favor – set up your will and other legal documents then set up a system and show your family where they can find all the information they’ll need. Don’t forget to review it regularly or as circumstances change.
Don’t delay, do it today.