While putting together an estate plan is important for you and your loved ones, it is equally important for you to understand the role of the trusted individuals who will be carrying out your wishes when you are unable to.
When it comes to estate planning, your primary helpers are key and they generally include a trustee, guardian, executor, agent under a power of attorney, and healthcare proxy, among others.
Reviewing Your Key Helpers
Determining who will handle your affairs when you are unable or after you are gone is not a decision to take lightly or leave to chance and circumstance. Here is an easy three-step guide to use when reviewing your estate plan.
1. Consider whether or not you need the helper.
For example, if you are revising a pre-existing estate plan created when children were minors, and now they are adults then you may no longer need a guardian. Alternatively, if you have a new pet that you did not have when you originally put your plan together, you may want to consider designating a pet caretaker.
2. Ask yourself whether, if you were creating your plan now, you would pick this person?
They may have seemed like the best person for the job when you made your original plan, but consider whether this is still the right person for the job, and if they are, why do you feel he or she is the best choice? Think about the tasks and duties this person would be asked to help with–does this person have the right skill set, demeanor, or personality to carry out the obligations the way you would want them to? Are they still at an age where these tasks are doable? Or are they at a different stage in their life that would make these responsibilities a burden?
3. Contact your estate planning attorney about making and implementing any necessary updates.
In addition to revising your helpers, there may be other issues you want to discuss regarding your plan, such as new assets, new family members or recent health concerns. Reviewing your estate planning helpers is a great way to start the process. If you need help working through this process, please call your Estate Planning attorney here at Davis Law Group to set up an estate plan checkup.