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How to Know If Your Estate Plan Needs an Update

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Even if you do not have an estate plan that you’ve created, Hawaii has one for you. It’s likely one you won’t like. That being said, it may be time for you to review that plan and make more informed, empowered choices for your family.

Keep your estate plan updated

If you have created an estate plan with a lawyer, or on your own, it may be time for a review and an update.

Estate planning is simply not something you do once, set it and forget it. In the same way your life, the law, and your assets change, your estate plan must change as well.

Far too many people spend thousands of dollars on a plan, only to have it sit on a shelf getting stale, and then end up leaving their family with a huge mess they thought they had invested time and money to prevent.

Don’t let this be the case for your family. Your family is worth more than that.

Update your estate plan at least every 3 years

At the bare minimum, your plan should be reviewed every three years. I do recommend that your Family Wealth Inventory (or listing of your assets) be updated annually. You may want to check to make sure you even have an asset inventory included with your plan. Most plans don’t have this included.

Unfortunately, most lawyers (and every do-it-yourself system) overlook this and there are millions of dollars in Hawaii's Unclaimed Property Program and billions across the country as a result.

Events that trigger a review

In addition to the minimum review every three years, your plan needs to also be reviewed in the event of any of these life changes:

· significant changes in the value of your estate;

· changes in your “income level or requirements,” such as retirement;

· an out of state move;

· job changes;

· changes to family situations, such as births, marriages, deaths, and major illnesses;

· changes to business interests;

· significant purchases or payoffs;

· major changes in insurance coverage; and

· the death or major illness of someone named as your personal representative (executor), trustee, power of attorney, or child guardian.

As part of my standard service, I create a Family Wealth Inventory of your assets so nothing is lost to Hawaii's Unclaimed Property Program when you become disabled or die. In addition, I review your plan at no additional charge every three years and have membership program options to review your plan annually plus make changes to your plan at no additional cost to you. And, that’s just the beginning.

If it’s time to create or review your plan, contact me for a Family Wealth Planning Session. You’ll get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make informed, empowered decisions for yourself and your family. Because you and they are worth it.

This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.

DISCLAIMER: All information available on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney directly regarding your specific situation. Use of and access to this website or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, and any users or any other party.


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