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As an attorney working primarily in the area of estate plan, it has been an honor to assist thousands of individuals with understanding and preparing estate planning documents. One of the more common questions that arises during discussions about estate planning is “how often do I have to review this thing?” While there is not one answer that applies to all situations, these are five signs that your estate plan is ready for a review.
It is more than 7 years old. To be clear, well-written documents prepared by well-qualified lawyers do not usually contain expiration dates. They are intended to remain usable for as long as they are needed. The problem, however, is not the documents, but the institutions that are asked to honor the documents. By way of example, a client recently contacted me to assist her with requesting a guardianship over her husband. Since a power of attorney eliminates the need for a guardianship, I asked her whether her husband had prepared one. She indicated that he had prepared one, but the financial institution she was dealing with would not accept it because it was more than 7 years old.
In discussing this situation with representatives of other financial institutions, some have told me that their institutions will not accept documents that are more than 3 years old, but that requirement seems to be relatively rare. As s …Read more
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