Whether you get together with your dad in person, virtually, or catch up with him over the phone, part of your conversation can be centered around making sure he is protected.
Checking on whether dad has an estate plan or if his estate plan is current is an easy way to start the process of making sure he will be safeguarded in the future. An estate plan goes beyond beneficiary designations and inheritances, and it’s important to make sure your father is fully covered. As he ages, will he be protected in times of disability? Does he have Agents named to step in, make healthcare decisions or manage his finances if he can no longer handle that himself?
If he already has a plan in place, does it cover any changes that have taken place since it was created? This can include changes in his life like beneficiaries, assets, trusted agents. But it can also include changes in the law, for instance if there have been estate and gift tax changes.
These may feel like uncomfortable conversations to have with your father, however asking the questions can save time, frustration, and expense down the road. Making sure dad has a plan in place can help avoid having to go through the probate court process to be named Conservator or paying the additional fees associated with probating an estate. It could also be the difference between knowing his healthcare wishes and family members guessing at what he would want when it’s too late to ask. It’s the decisions that go into proactive planning that can help ensure your dad’s estate plan will work in the way he wants, and help him maintain control as he ages and be protected.
Making sure your father has an up-to-date estate plan is one way to return the years of him watching over you, providing advice, and being a leader in your family. If you father’s planning needs require an update, or he needs to start planning in the first place, our office offers complimentary initial consultations to explain our trust process or review a plan that is in place. You can reach us at (248) 409-0256 to schedule an appointment with our estate planning professionals.