Well, it’s nearing and at the end of the year, and we are all preparing for the beginning of the New Year for 2022. Happy Endings and Happy Beginnings! This is also the optimal time for you to make a new list of your emergency contacts, list who you will continue to trust in the New Year, and determine if your wills or other contractual arrangements need to be updated right now.
Of course, when you set into stone the people you plan to trust with your estate and the delineation of your heirs after your death, you planned for your future and meant what you said and wrote down correctly at the time. But for the documents that are modifiable, have you thought of any necessary changes that need to be made? There are many situations where you may want to talk to a legal counsel or estate planning lawyer right away, to make any necessary changes today which will affect your estate tomorrow.
The old adage that people change is true and not true at the same time. Some say people don’t change or rarely change, while others say that anyone can actually “change” with hard work on their character, countenance or personality. The truth is, we are all changing either in micro doses, in a general sense. Some people change without meaning to, or in a traumatic sense. We are talking about some people who you have designated to review, monitor or manage your wealth who may have had traumatic brain changes due to aging, Alzheimer’s or who are burdened with their own business and family obligations and are not in a position to manage your estate for you any longer.
How will you know that this is the case? You need to periodically check in with the people who you have designated as managers, recordkeepers, bookkeepers or overseers of your estate, wealth, money or business, and revise a new plan of action if the individuals you have chosen are not up to performing the job to your satisfaction at this time.
There is another sticky topic that you also may want to review right around now as well. People change in that our relationships with people often do not remain the same. Just short of a “falling out,” there are some people who you are not as close to as before, or who you have grown distant from and no longer what them to manage emergency situations for you going forward. Who is on your will, or your advanced directive, or who even has the emergency set of keys to your house when you are away? You should at least once a year check in with yourself to determine whether you need to get that spare set of keys back, or whether the close friend who moved to Kansas is still the best choice to handle your affairs for you if you were to become incapacitated tomorrow.
This discussion is not advocating making major changes to anything you have set up in prior years, but rather just a reminder that while you have the opportunity to make any necessary changes to the list of people you choose to trust – then make those changes if it will bring you added peace of mind. Especially now as we embrace the New Year and 2022, let’s move forward in peace with all of our money and legal affairs completely in order and under our express directives for the future.
If you have any questions, get in touch with a Texas estate planning lawyer to learn more about your rights.