Should you be part of our Family Care Plan?
What is our Family Care Plan?
Our Family Care Plan is a program we created to allow us to remain engaged with our clients after the estate plan documents are signed, so that we might better help our clients fully implement the plan, and establish a schedule for periodic “checkups”, to review our client’s circumstances, and revise and adjust the plan as time goes by, so the plan will work as intended, when needed.
Why is such a thing needed, you may ask?
First, let’s review what is often done when a client signs a Will or other estate planning documents. They are put in a safety deposit box, or at home in a safe place, where they begin to gather dust. The attorney may have told the client that the plan needs to be reviewed every few years, but commonly this is not done. The documents are often next looked at when the client suffers an accident, incapacity, or dies, at which time it is too late to make any changes to the Plan.
And why isn’t that sufficient, one may ask?
Isn’t that how things are usually done? (Yes.)
And, aren’t the documents supposed to be valid without further attention? (They probably will be “legally valid”. Serious problems with estate plans are not usually the result of the documents being invalid.)
Good questions, though. Here are a few things to think about, when pondering those questions.
When the documents are signed do we know:
- When the plan is going to “have to work”? (That is, when is the client going to become incapable or die?)
- What the assets of the client will be at that time?
- Will the way the assets are owned / titled, including beneficiary designations on those assets, be the best under all the circumstances that exist at that time?
- What the tax laws will be at that time?
- What the client’s intent will be at that time as to whom the assets are to be given, in what amounts, and the best way to leave an inheritance (Outright? In trust? Might a beneficiary be disabled, receiving government benefits, or suffering through a divorce or saddled with debts or a lawsuit?)
When we review these issues with clients, often, not always, they appreciate the opportunity to create a relationship with our firm that
a) does not end when the planning documents are signed, but continues so that we can assist the client in fully implementing the plan (which usually requires a review of how assets are owned / titled, and beneficiary designations for accounts which can dictate how assets will pass at death), and
b) establishes a system for periodic checkups of the plan and the client’s circumstances and assets, to allow an opportunity for adjustments to be made, so that the plan works when needed.
There is a charge for participating in the Family Care Plan but we set the fees for the Plan in such a manner as to encourage clients to participate in it.
The Family Care Plan has a number of features that are designed to enhance the likelihood that upon incapacity or death, one’s affairs will be handled in a smooth and pre-planned way, which can avoid the chaos, and worry, and family discord, that can and often does arise, when insufficient planning is done.
Our Family Care Plan will not be appropriate for all of our clients, and we continue to provide traditional estate planning services for such clients. However, we do think that many of our clients, even those with modest estates, can find material benefit in the Family Care Plan.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to hear more about our Family Care Plan.
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Andrews & Young,
Attorneys at Law
567 Vauxhall Street Extension
Waterford Professional Complex
Waterford, Connecticut 06385
112 New London Road
Groton, Connecticut 06340
Evening, weekend and home appointments available.
Andrews & Young, PC, assists clients with Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Special Needs and Supplemental Needs Trusts, Trust Administration, Probate and Estate Administration, Conservatorship, Elder Law, Title 19 and Medicaid issues, Planning to address the costs of nursing home care, and Residential real estate, throughout eastern Connecticut, including New London, Waterford, East Lyme, Niantic, Lyme, Old Lyme, Montville, Uncasville, Groton, Ledyard, Gales Ferry, Stonington, North Stonington, Norwich, Old Saybrook and Mystic.