What the Dairy Farmers know that you maybe don’t . . .
I found it interesting that on “Dairy Herd Management” the January topic was “Legal: Review and update your estate plan now.” https://www.dairyherd.com/news/legal-review-and-update-your-estate-plan-now
The article certainly has the right premise. The start of the New Year IS the perfect time to review and update your estate plan. I am often asked, “When do I need to be concerned that I need a new Will or estate plan?” The fun answer is “When you win the Powerball!!!!”
But seriously, if you have married, divorced, become widowed, had a child OR your children have married, divorced, become widowed, or had a child, you may wish to consult with an attorney about whether you need to rethink your estate plan.
If you are thinking, “But I don’t think I want to change anything,” that may be because you don’t know how these events could shape your estate plan or could even render what you have done useless or less effective than originally planned. I used to tell my clients, “You can ask me any question you want!” I thought this would elicit all kinds of legal questions. But most of the time, it didn’t. Why? Because often clients don’t know what questions to ask. Whereas, a good attorney asks questions that bring to light issues that need to be addressed.
It’s funny – my friends know what I do for a living, that is, help people plan their estates. Nevertheless, I had a friend ask me if I would redo her Trust and then she said, “It’s just filling out forms, right?”
I was shocked she thought that an attorney fills out forms. “Not really,” I told her. “For instance, you have a son by a previous marriage, correct? A good trust takes into account that you will want to protect your son in the event of your death and your husband’s remarriage to (God forbid) an unscrupulous woman who wants to cut your son out of his inheritance. If your husband becomes incapacitated and she has his power of attorney, guess what? She could redo the Trust and cut out your son. We should really think about your Trust and how it should be protected from this maybe far-fetched, but possible devastating result.”
This is precisely why it is important to sit down with an attorney rather than to fill out estate planning forms on the internet. Legal Zoom may have attorneys now to answer your questions, but again, maybe you don’t know what questions to ask. It is always better to have a long and thorough talk with an attorney who knows you and your particular situation and can advise you as to what is best in your unique situation.
So come on! Don’t let the Dairy Farmers be better prepared than you! Call your lawyer and get chatting!