“Formal Updating” refers to meeting with your attorney periodically on a set schedule to determine if any changes should be made to your trust. There are four (4) principal reasons why this is important:

  1. Changes in the law. Both the federal tax law and state laws on issues such as asset protection, beneficiary rights, state death taxes, and other unpredictable changes may affect the efficacy of your trust planning.
  2. Significant changes in your family dynamics, including changes in those persons who are named as alternates for financial agents, health care agents, or guardians for you or your children.
  3. Significant changes in your net worth.
  4. Your lawyer will be better educated next year than last year and may have learned, discovered, or created techniques not commonly used when your plan was created which may apply to you.

In addition to the foregoing reasons, it is just a good idea to refresh your understanding of your estate plan in order to insure that it remains consistent with your current intentions.

I make this easy for all my clients by sending reminders each December and an invitation to a group meeting in February where current topics are discussed. The first year after your trust is created, the invitation is complimentary. Thereafter, you will receive the reminder and the invitation together with an invoice for continued participation. For those participating in the formal updating program, there is no charge for phone calls or an office visit to determine if you need or could benefit from additional work.

I encourage you to participate in the formal updating program if you believe in the value of relationship building to better serve you.

At Bregman & Burt, we use a comprehensive counseling approach to estate planning to be sure you have a unique estate plan specifically tailored to solving the tax and non-tax issues confronting your family. Failure to keep your plan current and your trust fully funded are among the most common reasons estate plans fail to work.

Mark Bregman is an experienced planner of estates; let him show you how to avoid common pitfalls, save money, and create a comprehensive estate plan that will reflect your hopes, dreams, desires, and aspirations for you and your loved ones while taking advantage of advanced planning techniques when necessary to maximize estate tax savings.