One would think that I, above most, would have my estate plan in shape.
I’m not an estate planner by specialty, but I have worked on several cases involving estate planning and probate issues.
Even if I don’t draft wills and trusts myself, I know that most people need them, and that they should be updated as the years pass on by.
After all, I am this newsletter’s editor.
Well, I do have an estate plan.
But, truth be told, I haven’t substantively updated it since my now 24-year-old son was a toddler. I really should give it another look.
After all, my designated personal representative/trustee wasn’t young when I created my first estate plan, and he’s 20 years older now.
Maybe it’s time for “new blood” to administer and oversee my assets.
Similarly, my charitable interests have changed (I say “matured”) over the decades. My estate plan needs to reflect those changes.
Older may not always be wiser, but it is often different.
If I die relatively young, can my son really handle an inheritance at 35, much less 30? Should I keep his funds in trust for him until he’s older (60, anyone)?
Is it really fair to burden my folks, now in their 90s, with making medical decisions for me if I can’t? Maybe I should appoint my (adult) son as my health care agent? He certainly could pay me back for all my parental misdeeds.
And what about Jake, or whatever dog is running my life when I die?
I’m going to create a pet trust to ensure that, even after I die, Jake will stay the same spoiled, treat-filled, rug-eating doodle for the rest of his big barky life.
One thing’s for sure. I’ll keep my original documents, along with other critical documents and account passwords, in a true place of safekeeping. Not in that rickety cabinet where papers go in but never come out.
I’ll give copies to my FOS attorneys.
And I’ll let my trusted compatriots know where to find my original estate planning documents. Plus my majorly important Amazon password (I’ve got Amazon Prime, after all).
Estate planning is about certainty and security, not excitement.
If I want excitement, I’ll send a fake email disinheriting everyone in favor of the Cult of All Cults Cult.
When I die, I want my loved ones to tell funny stories (some inappropriate for a family newsletter). And maybe Google the Cult of All Cults Cult.
Not fight over who was the last one to see “that stupid will.”
So go ahead. I’ll update my estate plan if you update yours.