Mary and Phil Jackson had their estate plans drawn up nearly 25 years ago. They have separate trusts. While the beneficiary for various annuities and life insurance policies has been changed to their respective trusts, there are several accounts that remain in Mary’s name alone and do not list a beneficiary. Mary and Phil meet with a new attorney to have their estate plans reviewed and it is recommended that they continue the process of funding their trusts. Mary says that she will get around to it within a month. She dies unexpectedly in a fatal car accident two weeks later. You can probably guess the next step for Phil- Probate Court.
It is so important to remember that having your estate planning documents drawn up sets you up to start running in the right direction- but it does not get you to the finish line! You must work with your various agents: attorney, life insurance agent, financial advisor and banker, to make sure that everything is titled properly- so that your plan can work for you. In the scenario above, had Mary had those accounts either titled to her trust, or had her trust listed as the beneficiary, Phil could avoid probate court! Now he has to go through the process, despite the fact that she had documents drawn up. She was planning on getting around to it- but unfortunately, almost doesn’t count! Don’t let this happen to you! Contact C&G today!!
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