Updating and Maintenance of Estate Plans

As discussed under Law Firm Procedures, our law firm employs a Three Step Strategy designed to create, implement, update and administer your estate plan to make sure that it will work. The first step is to work with a Counseling Oriented Attorney like Mr. Wittick. His mission is to develop a lifelong relationship with you. This article explains the second step of the Three Step Strategy which is to “Establish an Estate Plan Annual Maintenance Program.” This program is critical because an estate plan is not about the documents – it’s about a process designed to produce results when they are needed most.

Your estate plan is really a private estate administration business that you own and operate. Your trust is the business structure or business plan and your trustees, executors and agents are your employees. Now, can you imagine any business owner ever assuming that the business would work properly after just signing the business structure paperwork and hiring the employees? Of course not, but that is exactly what many trustmakers believe about their trusts. They believe it is a magic book, probably because they have never been counseled as to what it takes to make a trust or estate plan work. Now that you know your estate plan is not a magic book, the important question is “Will you commit to a process that is designed to produce results ?

Three Areas of Change That Must be Addressed

The truth is that, over time, there are many changes which can occur in a trustmaker’s personal life, in the law and in the experience of their estate planning lawyer which require amendments in the plan. Given this continuous process of change, your estate plan will not accomplish its purpose if it is never updated and the costs of failing to update are typically far greater than the costs to updat

  • Changes in your life that may affect your estate plan may include changes in your assets or their values, the financial markets, your wishes concerning any aspect of your plan, your trustees, executors, guardians or agents, your family including marital status, birth or death, your job, business interest, health, or residence.
  • Changes in the law may include changes in gift, estate, GST, or income tax rates or exemptions, asset protection, non tax law or legal strategies.
  • Changes in your Lawyer : As a counseling oriented attorney, member of Wealth Counsel, who is constantly growing and being educated as to new cutting edge estate planning techniques, Mr. Wittick keeps a list of strategy and/or language changes that may benefit past clients.

Formal Regularly Scheduled Maintenance Program

Experience has taught us that you will not update unless you are engaged in a formal maintenance program. If you do not wish to engage in such a program, it is our duty to inform you that you do so at your own risk. We therefore respectfully request that you enroll in one of the Estate Plan Annual Maintenace Programs below to insure that your Estate Plan works. Please call the law firm to discuss fees for these programs.

The Law Offices of Michael J. Wittick Estate Plan Annual Maintenance Programs:

  1. Minimum Required Plan 
  2. Estate Protection Plan

Law Offices Of Michael J. Wittick, A Professional Law Corporation is located in Irvine, CA and serves clients with estate and wealth preservation matters throughout Irvine, Lake Forest, Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Foothill Ranch, Tustin, Aliso Viejo and the surrounding areas.

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