Take a moment to think about the property that you’ve acquired since becoming an adult. From dishes to clothing, books to real estate, chances are that if you’ve been an adult for at least a few years, you’ve purchased some significant property. Even if that property isn’t particularly valuable, it’s yours and you likely care about what would happen to it in the event of your death.
Now take a moment to think about all of the accounts that you have online that are password protected. Are there financial assets or investments tied to any of those accounts? Is there any intellectual property stored on any of those accounts? Is your name and/or image clearly associated with any of those accounts? Have you ever given any thought as to how your loved ones would go about accessing your online footprint in the event of your death or incapacitation… or how your online assets and/or footprints may be used in ways that you would either approve of or blatantly disapprove of under such circumstances?
Estate plans are meant to be “living” legal tools because the needs, preferences, and life circumstances of individuals evolve over time. Unlike many other legal resources, most estate planning documentation can be updated, altered, and revoked at any point during an individual’s lifetime. This means that you’re not only entitled to treat your estate plan as a living legal tool… you’re meant to do just that.
Updating an Existing Estate Plan
If you have never created an estate plan, now is the time to tackle this critically important task. If you don’t specify your wishes concerning your property, medical care preferences, guardianships for your minor children, etc. now, in the event of your death or incapacitation due to illness or injury, the fate of your care, your property, and the care of your children will be left up to the courts. Similarly, if your existing estate plan isn’t current, the courts may be compelled to enforce a version of your estate plan that does not reflect your up-to-date wishes.
As an experienced estate planning lawyer – including those who practice at Yee Law Group, PC – can confirm, updating one’s estate plan doesn’t usually take much time. If you maintain your estate plan regularly, it shouldn’t take much time at all. Given the stakes of having an accurate and complete estate plan in place, the minutes or hours you’ll invest in updating your estate plan now are certainly worth your time and effort.