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Stuff happens… so finish your estate plan

Every year it happens. Every year I get to the end of the year and am amazed that some people I met with months ago have not finished their estate plans yet. People who have had rough drafts mailed to them long ago. People who have been reminded that they should get it done.  People who might be causing probate, family fights, estate taxes, or other problems by not getting their estate planning documents done. Please remember that STUFF HAPPENS!

I am blogging today with a reminder to people to finish your estate planning documents.  If you haven’t met with an attorney then go do that.  As you likely know mere discussion, and even unsigned documents, provide no protection. That is, the reasons that people do an estate plan to provide value to you and your loved ones is not in place until the documents are properly executed. The sad reality is that stuff happens. You can not plan when you will need an estate plan.

I was reminded of this in March when my mom passed away quite unexpectedly. She had been in the process of updating her estate plan but was in no rush to do so since she was just in her early 70’s and healthy. Not only am I, her only child, an estate planning attorney but she, herself, was a retired estate planning attorney. We thus both know you can not delay.  Stuff happens!

My rule of thumb for people who are having trouble finishing their estate plan is to remind you that a plan which is 95% right is probably better than not having a signed estate plan at all. We can work toward 100% right after that but you need to get something in place when you can!  To quote a friend of mine, “done is generally better than perfect.”

Should you want to get your estate plan done contact us to make an appointment. We have a team of experienced estate planning attorneys ready to help. In fact, we have three attorneys who are Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law.  We can assist clients throughout California.

As 2016 comes to an end I wish you a happy new year and my best wishes for a great 2017!

-John

P.S. Here’s a link to a page on our website with some estate planning articles.

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