Recently, I was out of the office for an early morning meeting with a client. While waiting in the lobby, I ran into a different client who happened to work in the building. I’d done some significant estate planning for her and her husband, and she told me that she’d been meaning to call me because they had follow-up questions about carrying out their estate plan.
I had a few minutes before my meeting and we were able to talk through her questions, which were actually fairly typical among my clients. But they reminded me how easy it is to forget that the estate planning process doesn’t end as soon as the documents are signed.
I’ll explain: It’s always such a relief for my clients on the day they sign their estate planning documents. Maybe it’s something they have put off for years. Maybe the last time they did any formal planning, they had young children and now their lives have changed. Whatever the reason, something led my clients to update their estate plan, and doing it is a critical step in the right direction.
But are they done as soon as they sign the documents? No, because signing documents isn’t the final step: Estate planning, in fact, involves three separate stages, and people must get through all to three to effectively complete the process.
The first stage is fairly obvious. Coming up with a plan and putting it to paper is the initial step in developing a comprehensive Keep reading ...