Prefabricated Estate Plans

Posted on November 23, 2011

A lot of companies are now offering prefabricated estate plans to their employees.  It’s also true that the military has offered such services through on-base legal counsel offices for quite some time.  If you have such a prefabricated, one-size-fits-all plan, you might be surprised to learn that your planning might not be as comprehensive as you might imagine.

Better Than Nothing

The reality is that having a plan is generally better than not having a plan.  Think about the issues that planning can solve in advance: passing on assets without the need for intervention by a probate court, seamless transfer of guardianship rights for your children, and knowing that your wishes will be followed with respect to medical treatment in the event that you are incapacitated.  Having a plan in place can help you sleep at night, because you’ll know that your loved ones will be cared for emotionally and financially and that they’ll know you made the tough choices with respect to your own medical care, rather than laying that burden on their shoulders.

So in general, having any sort of plan is typically better than not having a plan at all.  That’s exactly why many employers and the military offer free, prefabricated plans.  It gives our soldiers and other employees an opportunity to put a plan in place, which is much more than can be said for the majority of people in our country.

But Not Good Enough

If you have an employer-provided or military estate plan, what you really need to do is ask whether it is good enough for you and your family.  Does it fully serve your needs, and is it customized to your unique situation?  Was it drafted with care specifically for you by a person who has made it their mission to get the details of estate planning right?  My firm has a lot of estate planning clients, so I can tell you from experience that no two clients are alike.  There is a lot on the line, and you probably should at least take a hard look at the planning you’ve been given to see if it really does address all of your needs.

In many cases, employer-provided estate plans are “administered” by people who really don’t understand the intricacies of estate planning.  That means that they might not even know what questions to ask and what areas to address, not to mention what areas could be of particular concern to you.

Get It Reviewed

If you do have an employer-sponsored plan, we want to extend a special offer to you.  Bring that plan to us and let us help you review it.  If the plan meets your needs, I’ll tell you so.  If it doesn’t meet your needs, I’ll let you know that too.  The best part, I’m not going to charge you.  I normally charge $750 to conduct a Family Wealth Planning Session, but just to motivate the people out there who have fallen into what might be a false sense of security, I want to provide this service free of charge . . . this month only!

Finally, whether you have a plan or not, if you are a soldier or veteran, I will also meet with you for free, just because I believe our service men and women deserve the best planning possible.  Please call my office right now and schedule your appointment, because once my calendar is full, it will be too late!

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