Keeping Up With Your Estate Plan
By Allyson S. Heller
As we slowly and tentatively begin the process of emerging from lockdown and embracing the new normal in this time of uncertainty, it may be a good time for you to revisit your estate plan.
In my practice, I encounter many clients who had estate planning documents drafted some fifteen or twenty years ago and have not looked at them since. As a result, many of these documents are out of date. Clients who had a trust drafted when their children were still young may now want to make changes to trustee and distribution provisions, now that their children are grown. For instance, if a child develops substance abuse issues or has poor money management skills, then adding special discretionary trust or spendthrift provisions for that child’s share may be appropriate.
Additionally, clients with older estate plans may have individuals listed as trustees, executors, and financial and healthcare agents, who have since passed away or are no longer in a position to make decisions on their behalf or manage their estate.
Another issue that clients with outdated documents often encounter is banks and financial institutions are increasingly rejecting older Powers of Attorney, resulting in unnecessary hardship and delay for clients and their family members. Finally, many of these older estate plans are non-compliant with privacy rules established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which may preclude healthcare providers and insurers from disclosing protected health information to designated representatives, leaving them unable to make informed decisions on the client’s behalf.
If your current estate plan is over ten years old, there is a possibility that your estate plan is out of date, and you may want to consult with an estate planning attorney about potentially updating your documents.
Allyson is an associate attorney at The Law Office of Tony J. Tyre, Esq., APC, and offers free estate planning consultations. To book your appointment, please call 626-858-9378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.