Reportedly, even many estate planners who just crafted a plan and are pleased with the results end up being less than satisfied a few year later.
Why should that be the case?
Forbes financial writer Bob Carlson can point to a deep well of reasons that materially explain such a happy-now-disgruntled-later sentiment.
For starters, there’s this: Even the most optimally crafted plans – those that benefit from the professional advice and tailored drafting of seasoned legal counsel – find it hard to stand the test of time when those intended to benefit from them skirt the details and ignore necessary updates.
Put another way: Planners often tend to file away their carefully crafted documents immediately after they are executed. They simply don’t follow through. As Carlson notes, “You need to implement and then regularly update the plan.”
When you don’t, negative and unintended results can occur. Beneficiaries needing to be deleted or added never get reflected in revisions. Parties who once made sense as guardians or agents to act on behalf of planners in times of incapacity in key financial and health matters might now be wholly inappropriate – yet their names still feature in planning instruments and confer important powers.
Carlson points to many additional challenges that commonly arise when a planner now gone never made efforts while alive to keep beneficiaries and heirs reasonably informed of key estate-linked points. He stresses that the recipients of assets in the future should at least have a ballpark grasp of an estate’s value and what a plan generally provides for. And if time allows, they should be prepared through requisite knowledge and education to properly receive and manage the wealth that will one day be theirs.
Executing a sound and tailored estate plan equates to a battle half won. Victory can be totally assured for a planner, Carlson notes, when he or she acts upon that plan as “a continuing project that needs to be revised and fine-tuned over time.”