Outdated Estate Plans Lead To Nasty Surprises

Imagine a 90-year-old man named Jerry. He’s a sharp and thorough gentleman, so naturally, he locked down his estate plan years ago. He has it all — the will, the trusts, the healthcare directives, the powers of attorney, you name it. Attorneys, financial planners, and family members have all reviewed his documents, and they’ve approved. No stone is still unturned.

One day, Jerry dies. His family mourns the loss but celebrates a life well-lived, taking comfort in knowing that his affairs have already been comprehensively disposed of.

And then the tax bill comes. Tens of thousands of dollars are due. How?

That’s the real-life situation that one financial planner describes in this month’s Christian Science Monitor. As it turns out, all those eagle eyes missed a glaring loophole that left Jerry (not his real name) susceptible to some serious income tax. It probably didn’t help that several relevant laws had changed since the last time Jerry updated his plan, and those changes may have had an adverse impact on his account.

These kinds of things happen all the time. There are four common causes:

  • People attempting to create an estate plan on their own
  • Hiring inexperienced estate planning attorneys
  • Assuming that financial planners have the same legal insight and foresight as attorneys
  • Failing to update an estate plan at least once every few years

The moral of the story is that estate planning can be complicated, and experienced hands are best equipped to guide you away from common pitfalls. If you’re planning your future for the first time, it’s imperative that you consult with experienced Phoenix estate planning attorneys at each step along the way.

If you already have an estate plan in place, please don’t make the oft-disastrous mistake of letting it collect dust without an occasional update.

Whether you need a new estate plan or are simply overdue for polish, the experienced Phoenix estate planning attorneys can help. Call us today.


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