Sadly, most lawyers fail to communicate regularly with their clients. As a result, if you’ve created an estate plan in the past, you may have had a “checked off the list and done” kind of experience and not even realized that estate planning means a lifetime of wise legal and financial decisions, not a one-and-done kind of thing.
Unfortunately, most lawyers don’t have their business systems set up for ongoing, proactive communication. They don’t have the time to get to know you or your family and then keep your plan up to date throughout your life.
Work with a lawyer who has systems to keep your plan updated to ensure your assets are protected (throughout your life) and who will communicate with you regularly.
Additionally, ask them how they will proactively support you in keeping your plan up to date on an ongoing basis and be there for your loved one’s when you can’t be.
Think of it this way: Your estate plan includes a set of documents, but your plan is far more than those documents. Your plan is an inventory of your assets, which changes throughout your life. It’s a structure and container for who and what your family will turn to when something happens to you.
You want to work with a lawyer with systems to keep your documents up to date and ensure your assets are owned correctly throughout your lifetime. Ideally, the lawyer should get to know you and your family over time so that when something happens, your lawyer can be there for the people you love. There will already be an underlying relationship and trust.
Posted by Suren G. Adams, Adams Law Office, LLC
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