“I am not quite ready to sign my estate plan becuase… [insert excuse here].”
I hear this almost every day. The problem is there is NEVER a perfect time to do your estate plan nor is there ever a perfect estate plan. There are good times and bad times but there is NO perfect time! Likewise there are good plans and there are bad plans but there is simply NO perfect plan! There is always something.
My theory is if we get your estate plan pretty darn close to perfect then SIGN IT! I have a policy of not charging for changes during the first year after signing it so call me next month and we will tweak it. The problem is stuff happens and while you are waiting for everything to be perfect something very imperfect can happen… like the “unexpected” death.
While you are waiting for every duck to line up exactly right you die and leave your family a mess! You cause them to go through probate, unnecessary taxes, and in some cases even a distribution that is not at all what you wanted!
In my short 43+ years on this earth I have learned there is really no “unexpcted” death becuase any one of us can die today or live until we are 110. It’s just impossible to know when your time is up. Sure certain people have better odds of living longer than others but any of us can get hit by a car today!
Thus it gets me back to my clients who wait until everything is perfect. They have finished their taxes, their kids are off to college, they have no doctors appointments to go to, they have no company visiting from out of town, no vacations, they have all their assets in financial institituions they like, they aren’t trying to sell their house, they aren’t in a fight with their sister, and the list goes on.
The problem is there is always something that makes life imperfect and thus provides a potential excuse to completing your estate plan. As stated above I will change your estate plan for no additional charge for one year after you sign your new estate plan. Yes, 367 days is ok!
Get your estate plan done, get your trust funded, and then tweak it if you want. However, do not wait for the perfect time and the perfect documents!