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Estate Planning for the Seasons

The weather has been changing and has me thinking about transitions. Saying farewell to those warm summer days and welcoming that crisp Fall air. Officially, fall began on September 22, 2018, with the equinox – the point when the sun passes over the earth’s equator causing day and night to be of equal length.

These seasonal changes also happen in life. Many authors have used the seasonal metaphor to change. Here is one by psychologist Henry Cloud that applies well to planning, “Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something's time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.”

A properly prepared legacy needs to adapt to our changing circumstances of our lives. Common life events triggering the need to change well laid plans include some of the of the following: a new child, a new marriage, a serious illness, retirement, moving from one state to another, changes in tax laws, changes in important relationships.

An #estate #plan is simply that – a plan. It is an extension of a well ordered life. #Estate #plans for a newly weds looks very different than that for a married couple in their 80’s. The issues and risks involved at those ages are radically different. Furthermore, those issues and exposures differ based on a multitude of factors such as scope of family and trusted relationships, the economic resources available to overcome a catastrophic life event, the need and access to private and government benefits, as well as preserving the dignity of the person as well as those dependent upon him or her.

We suggest, that in no case should more than five years pass before you review your #estate planning documents with your #attorney. We have been involved in cases where sound plans at the time had an adverse effect years later. This includes trustees and executors who are no longer connected to the beneficiaries. The overfunding of certain trusts created to avoid taxes that no longer exist. The list of examples go on. Suffice it to say, best practices is to review your Will and Trusts every few years, so that like the other says to “prune” the plan.

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