Earlier in the week, we looked at some of the lessons from the Super Bowl that we could apply to your business. Today, it's a few days later, there are also some good lessons to assist you with your estate planning as well. If you watched the game, you likely saw that Tampa Bay had a plan. Tellingly, they stuck to that plan. On offense, their drives down the field were calculated and balanced. Their defense had a plan to keep Patrick Mahomes moving around and staying focused on defending Kansas City's major threats. In sticking to their plan, they got right to where they wanted to be at the end, Super Bowl champions.

Have a Plan

When you are creating an estate plan (your will, trust, and other documents), planning is the primary thing on your mind. Everyone has their own individual goals, but many are creating that plan to avoid probate. Others have specific items that they want to be sure go to the right person when they are gone. Most importantly, when it comes to health care documents, if you become incapacitated, you want to have a plan for your medical treatment and who will be making the decisions.

Once you have your plan in place, the second step, like Tampa Bay did on Sunday, is equally important...

Stick to It

After you have spent all that time and energy creating a plan, it's also important that you stick to it. Over the years, I've been asked to help clean up many estate plans that went awry. One of the most common culprits? Not sticking to the plan.

For example, if you have a trust set up as part of your plan, what do you do after you've signed the documents? The next step is often to "fund" the trust, which means putting assets into the name of the trust. Many clients come to my office not having any idea how to do this and they are often annoyed to find out that the assets weren't put into the trust at the time the trust document was signed.

How does this happen?

The most common way this happens is that there is a misunderstanding between you and your attorney after your trust documents are signed. When they are done, you need to ask who is going to take care of the funding? Some attorneys will include it as part of your estate plan costs. Others will charge a separate fee. Whatever option you choose, you need to be sure that you understand who will be funding the trust. 

The last thing you want to do is spend all that time creating an estate plan and then find out years later that your planning was never completed...

Next Steps

If you don't have a will yet, or if you have one that you may need to update, call my office to set up a Legal Strategy Session and we can review the best options for you.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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