To all of our clients, friends and acquaintances.
We hope you and your loved ones are well, and continue to avoid the present danger.
We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and advise you.
Given the current environment, we should all remember the essential purpose of estate planning – to be sure our wishes are adequately expressed – to provide for our own needs – for those we care for – and for those upon whom we are depending.
Do your documents reflect your current situation and thinking?
Do those you name as beneficiaries – in your Will, Trust Documents, Insurance policies, retirement accounts and otherwise – express your current wishes – as well as the present circumstances and needs of your beneficiaries? Do your beneficiary designations coordinate with your estate plan? Is your estate plan properly funded?
Are those you designate – as Executors of your Will, Trustees, Health Care Proxies and Attorneys-in-Fact – and as alternates – still appropriate – and are they able and willing to act?
Have your circumstances changed in a way which suggests you consider revisions to any of your documents? For example – marriages, births, purchases or sales of property, whether located in the country where you make your home, are a citizen, or spend significant amounts of time?
If you are not a United States Citizen, but spend significant time in this country, or own assets located here – such as real property, art work, jewelry, vehicles or other items or collections of value, does your planning take account of those facts? Likewise, if you are a United States citizen, or Resident Alien, with assets in another country subject to tax by the United States, does your estate plan provide for the payment of those taxes?
Do those you name in Health Care Proxies, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney know your wishes? Do you – and they – have copies of the relevant documents? Does your doctor have a copy of your Health Care Proxy? Does your Health Care Agent have a copy of your Living Will?
Troubled economic times sometimes provide planning opportunities. Have you considered that possibility?
If any of the questions or thoughts expressed in this note lead you to consider changes to your estate plan, please remember – what you do today can be changed tomorrow – and if a change will improve your plans, it should not be delayed.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us, if we can be of assistance to you in any way.
But most of all, please stay well, and do whatever you can to see that those you care for also stay well.