For years we have been telling our clients, if you have questions or anything changes, call us; however, we are finding we get the question somewhat frequently, “but specifically when should I call you?” Or we find out about a major life change several months or a year after the fact because clients or their family members did not realize that they could or should call us. We thought we would try to clear some of that up and give you some guidelines on when you might want to think about picking up the phone or shooting us an email. We’re here to be a resource for our clients, and we never want you to feel like you just have to figure it out on your own. Here are some reasons you might want to reach out:
- Changes in your family situation. This encompasses a vast number of possibilities but some of the most common are marriages, divorces, births, or deaths for you or a loved one included in your plan. Have a new grandchild? Come brag about it to us – photos are encouraged! Is one of your children getting divorced? Let us know. This also includes things like if you or someone involved in your plan (i.e. Trustees or potential Guardians) moves, especially if they move out of state.
- Changes to what you own. We say it so much you might get tired of hearing it, but the only way to make sure that your estate plan will work the way you intended is to keep your assets aligned with your plan. If you get a new job, chances are your benefits will change. Drop us a line and let us know so we can help you align anything new. Open or close an account? Send us a recent statement and we can let you know if anything needs to happen. This also includes things like a refinance to your home, starting or selling a business, or changes in life insurance or retirement accounts.
- Medical changes. If you are scheduled to have any surgery or invasive medical procedure or are hospitalized for any reason, let us know. We can review your plan with you and also help facilitate any conversations that might need to happen with others involved in your plan. For loved ones or family members, if your loved one starts to show any early signs of dementia or mental decline or forgetfulness, or a sense of confusion or difficulty managing their own affairs, definitely call us. Reaching out sooner rather than later will give us as much time as possible to review your loved one’s plan and take any necessary steps.
- A loved one passes away (or becomes ill). We already mentioned family and medical changes, but this one comes up so much it’s worth mentioning by itself. We know that losing a loved one is an extremely difficult situation, and you might not be ready to deal with administering their affairs right away. We get that, and as much as possible we will work with you on your timetable. Even if you’re not ready to meet with us, we still recommend that you give us a call or shoot us an email to let us know. We may be able to help simplify things for you, and we can let you know about any deadlines you need to be aware of as well as answer questions that you may have.
- When you’re not sure if you should call us. If it has crossed your mind that maybe you should call us, odds are good that you should call us. We find it far more common that people don’t call us when they should than that they call us all the time with things we did not need to know.
- If you haven’t talked to us in more than a year (or two at most). Odds are very good that one of the things listed above will have happened to you in the last year or two. If you haven’t talked to us in over a year, call us up just to have a review. You might find you’ve been through 2 or 3 things on the list above and just forgot to tell us when they happened. And if by some chance that’s not true, we’ll still enjoy hearing from you!
For our clients: if any of the above items sound like you, please call or email us for a review meeting. We are currently conducting meetings via Zoom due to the pandemic, but we would love to meet with you on Zoom and go over any changes or updates that have occurred in your life and discuss how that might affect your plan.
To learn more about how we can help you make a plan to care for your loves ones, that will change with our changing world and your changing life, visit our website, explore our blog, and schedule your complimentary consultation today!