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That is great that you have a plan!  How old is it?  Have laws changed since it was written and signed? Is it even in writing? Does someone know where your documents are kept?  Have any of the people you nominate to carry out tasks or as beneficiaries still the same?


It is important to think of estate planning as a process. As life changes, your plan might need to change too.  Ask these questions to determine if your plan needs to be reviewed:

  • Have my documents been reviewed in the last 2-5 years?

  • Did I name a Guardian for minor children?

  • Has a major life event occured since I signed my documents? (death, divorce, birth, relocation, asset purchases, sales, etc.)

  • Do I have someone listed that I no longer want, can trust, etc.?

  • Do I have an ex-spouse listed as a beneficiary somewhere?

  • Do my documents comply with the current law?

  • Would a bank or another third party accept my power of attorney?

  • Are my wishes regarding end-of-life medical decisions that same as when I created these documents?

  • Is the plan I have more complicated than I would like it to be?

  • Is a Will "an estate plan"?

  • Are the documents I prepared after a Google search valid in Michigan?


You want to review and update your plan as necessary.  Otherwise you run the risk of paying even more than the cost of an update, having unintended distributions, or burdening family or loved ones to figure things out without your input. 

Kelly T. Braun - Estate Planning - Wills and Trusts

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