It’s funny, the little lessons life teaches us. My most recent revelation came in the form of chatting with a client after their will signing. Just small talk, nothing substantial, but somewhere in there, she asked me if I personally, had a Will. “Of course”, I laughed. “I’ve been with the law firm for many years: they handled it for me years ago”. Years ago…. Those words echoed in my head. The week ended, the weekend passed, and on Monday I asked someone at the office to pull my Will from storage. Posternock Apell chooses to keep the documents here in a fireproof vault. It makes life so much easier for the families than them having to hunt through their loved ones’ things. Going through your loved ones’ things can be emotional and difficult, especially when they’ve first passed.
My will was a thing of beauty: the children had a designated guardian, my home went to my husband, assets were to be divided between different family members, and absolutely NOTHING was relevant. My ‘children’ are almost 30, that husband…. well – he no longer exists. Assets have changed. Beneficiaries have changed. And I thought: what happens if you die with an old Will?
I did what anyone in today’s day and age would do: I Googled it. The results showed 20 listings of the types of problems that occur when people die without a Will (and in the State of NJ that means that you give our lovely state control), but nothing on what happens if you die with an older Will.
So, I asked Rachel Glavis, our new Estate Attorney. Her response was eye-opening. Your Will might not accommodate everything that has occurred since the time it was executed. Children now adults? If you set up a trust for them it is still a trust. Deceased beneficiaries? Welcome to the world of dealing with their estate whether or not they had their own Will. Terrifying.
Needless to say I now have a new Will. I also took the time and went through and checked the beneficiaries of my life insurance, retirement funds, and annuities as well as updated my financial power of attorney and advanced health care directive. Divorced? Doesn’t matter with those. So – do as I say, not as I do! And by the way, Rachel was amazing. If you want to ask her for her advice you can email her at [email protected] or call her at 856 642-6445 to set an appointment today.
I already calendared my ‘5 year Estate check-up’ in 2023!