When it comes to estate planning, talking about wills, or long-term care planning, a lot of people have reservations, or even fears, about their future. One common fear among older folks is planning for the future only to run out of money. This comes up a lot in regard to long-term care planning.

But the biggest fear of all is the fear of uncertainty. If you don’t have an estate plan at all, that can create a lot of uncertainty, not just for yourself but also for your family. What stops people from drafting an estate plan?

There are many factors, including not wanting to have a conversation about the future or a fear of working with lawyers. And that’s true! For some people, the idea of working with a lawyer is a tough pill to swallow. Some people are intimidated by attorneys; some people simply don’t like them. As a result, they put off the estate plan, which can lead to a major headache for the family and heirs later on.

Of course, even people with estate plans can find themselves facing uncertainty. We see people who’ve created an estate plan but had no idea how it worked or simply never read it. They had it drafted and signed without getting the details they really needed to make major decisions about their future.

There is also uncertainty when it comes the legal specifics of an estate plan, like how it’s influenced by new tax laws or the overall tax environment. Laws are updated, phased out, or phased in, and this has the potential to alter an estate plan.

A big part of what we do is curb these fears so our clients and their families can rest easy knowing their questions and concerns are taken care of. This is one of the primary reasons we provide a free estate plan review. We want to help you make sure your plan is up-to-date and reflects your current financial situation.

We’ve seen folks who haven’t had a plan reviewed in over 20 years. Think about where you were 20 years ago versus where you are now. So much can change in 20 years, from your family to your health to your overall living circumstances.

In fact, we consider keeping your estate plan up-to-date so important that we recently started a new program for our existing clients: an annual  estate plan checkup. It’s just another way to make sure the terms of your plan are correct — and that you are fully aware of those terms.

As intimidating as it can be to develop an estate plan, it doesn’t have to be scary — and certainly not when you have a planning professional on your side.

P.S. I want to tell you about a new workshop series we are kicking off. It’s called Wednesday Workshops. These workshops will be held twice a month (click here for dates and to sign up). They are designed for anyone who may have questions about estate planning or elder law, or is looking to establish or update a plan.

Wednesday Workshops go over the basics of estate planning as well as asset protection for long-term care. If you know anyone who can benefit from a workshop like this, they are more than welcome to join! In addition to these community-focused workshops, we also have several special “client-only” workshops planned.

We will be diving into more in-depth topics regarding your estate plan. Look for exact dates soon!

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