Spring is officially around the corner, which means the mad dash to start “spring cleaning” is in full effect!
Yet before you start cleaning out the closet, garage, home office or anything else that tends to get overly cluttered/ messy through the year, may I suggest you officially start by tidying up your Orange County estate plan?
You see, estate plans can get pretty messy through the years…especially when they become outdated or fail to reflect your current medical or long-term care wishes. In fact, an outdated plan can get so messy that it stands the chance of failing when your family needs it the most!
Now I realize that like most chores, updating your estate plan may not seem like most fun thing in the world to do. Perhaps it feels burdensome, complicated or even serves as another painful reminder of your mortality. However, it’s important to remember that by giving your plan a yearly checkup, you are helping to ensure that without a shadow of a doubt your wishes will stay honored as your life and the law changes through the years.
So if it’s been awhile since your estate plan has experienced a good “freshening up”, I recommend you pull it out of the drawer as soon as possible and check for the following:
- All new assets (including real property) are included in the plan
- The sale of any assets are reflected in the plan
- Births, deaths, divorces, marriages and re- marriages are reflected and planned for accordingly
- Whether or not you are still happy with the guardians you named to care for your minor children
- Whether or not your health care directive still represents your medical wishes and long- term care preferences
And of course if it’s really been a long time since your estate plan experienced some TLC, you may also want to schedule an appointment with an Orange County estate planning attorney to make sure everything is legally up to speed and still set up for maximum protection under current state and federal laws.
Either way, commit to giving your plan a good “tidying up” this spring so you can enjoy the upcoming months with total peace of mind knowing your family, wishes and assets will be protected if something happens to you.