Brought to you by: Community Partner Bradford & Holliman
A new year is here. What did you put off last year that is still on your “to do” list? In a great New York Times article in March 2019, Erik Winkowski wrote that “procrastination is about emotions, not productivity.” It’s more fun to alphabetize your spices than to review your estate plan and beneficiaries or update your net worth. It’s not time you lack; it’s the emotional fortitude to take the proverbial “bull by the horns” to tackle a job that is often tied to mixed emotions.
That’s one of the big advantages of having an experienced estate planning attorney on your team of advisors. A good lawyer can make sure your estate plan does not have legal gaps created by new estate legislation. And a good estate planning attorney will proactively ask you questions about your estate that you might not even think about if the whole process makes you uncomfortable. A one-size-fits-all form downloaded from an online site certainly can’t help you there.
You should also update your net worth as part of a review of your estate plan so that you know what you have to bequeath, whether it is an antique train collection or a well-funded IRA. A current net worth helps you avoid forgetting an important asset. Updating your net worth in January will help when you get around to working on your 2022 taxes before April. Your accountant will thank you… and might charge you less.
One family I know often uses the phrase, “I haven’t gotten around to it.” Just make sure you get around to it when it comes to taking charge of your estate plan and net worth. You really don’t want to depend on Alabama’s estate laws for folks who die without a legally documented estate plan (intestate). To find an experienced estate planning attorney near you, check online with AVVO, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and Martindale.
-Melanie B. Holliman, JD
Partner at Bradford & Holliman, LLC
No representation is made that the quality of the legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of service performed by other lawyers.