How Long Has it Been Since You…

… tested the batteries in your smoke alarms?
… had a dermatologist take a look at that thing on your back?
… reviewed your will with your lawyer?
… organized the photos of your kids stored on your phone?

If you’re like most people, your answer to all of these tasks falls somewhere between ‘I can’t remember’ to ‘what year is it again?’.

I get it. You got them done. You checked them off your To-Do list. You felt pretty good about that. You’re a fine, upstanding citizen that cares about your family’s safety, health, future and past.

Except. None of those things are ever really “done”. Things change. Batteries die. Your investments grow. “Duck face” ceases to be cool.

So I’m going to leave you with a warning about the batteries, photos and that skin thing. I do want to dig a little deeper into reviewing your will.

I’ve been doing this work since the mid-90s. I’ve taught other attorneys how to do this work. I’ve unraveled the puzzles unique to this kind of planning for more clients and more people at presentations, seminars and webinars than I can count.  

And here are 5 Things I Know For Sure about the day you become disabled or pass away….

  1. I know that I don’t know when that day will be. Do you?
  2. The laws will be different. Laws can change rapidly and without warning.  I don’t even know what the relevant laws will look like next month.
  3. You’ll own different stuff. Think about your asset picture last year. Five years ago. Ten years ago. I feel confident assuming the picture has changed.
  4. Your family relationships will have shifted. At the very least, your kids will be older. Today you may be worried about how they’re going to get through school, but on that day you may have daughters-in-law, sons-in-law and grandchildren laying claim to an inheritance.
  5. Your priorities and goals will have changed. What’s important to you today isn’t the same as what was important a few years ago, and won’t be the same 5, 10, 20 years from now.

The challenge with family legal planning, or estate planning as they call it, is that it relies on a plan that protects your family at an unknown time, under unknown laws, utilizing unknown assets for an unknown family situation to accomplish unknown goals.

And while we don’t know when you’ll need it, we know your will should reflect the as-current-as-possible realities of your life.

Typically, lawyers rely on their clients to let them know when and if something in their life changes. How do I know this? Because it’s how we used to do it too. But here’s the thing: you probably don’t know what life or asset changes require a change to your family legal plan.  And frankly, you shouldn’t need to. You’ve got more than enough on your plate already.

Over the years I’ve learned, though, that once people check ‘family legal planning’ off their task list they don’t think about it again. The result is that often plans don’t work.

For just this reason we’re upleveling our Plan Care and Access Program. It will include priority access to us so you can ask any questions you have, at any time, and not worry about hourly rates or invoices. It will also include simple, annual conversations to make sure your family is going to be protected when they need it most. You’ll be hearing more from us about the Program in the coming weeks as we put a few finishing touches on it.

In the meantime, if it’s been more than a year or two, it’s time for a family legal plan check-up. Call your lawyer and schedule a conversation. If you’re an existing Ingle Law client, we included this check-up as part of the planning we did for you, so there’s no fee for this conversation.  You can CLICK HERE to request an immediate check-up.



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