Elysium Utah Logo

Avoiding Estate Planning Nightmares

Ah, the end of summer and final preparations are in place for that long-anticipated vacation. The summer ritual of travel and relaxation requires plenty of checklists and planning to ensure your sabbatical meets your expectations. Without proper planning, the vacation can be a disaster. The same planning principle applies to making sure that your affairs are in order. And, if not?

True Tales

Two individuals with children from prior relationships marry late in life. The husband dies, leaving his retirement plan to his new wife with verbal instructions that she should leave whatever is left in his retirement account to his children. After his death, she finds a new husband. The new husband is interested in buying boats, pursuing expensive hobbies and living a lavish lifestyle with his new bride’s recently acquired wealth. He quickly convinces her to spend those retirement assets on his dreams. She complies with his wishes, spending all of her inheritance. Not long thereafter, the new husband leaves looking for a new rich widow to marry. Although her monthly pension will provide her with a comfortable living, the wife is left with no safety net of assets and no inheritance for the previous husband’s children. The agony and the ecstasy.

Add Years to Your Life

Many individuals have a phobia about estate planning. Nobody wants to think about their own demise. Some feel that completing an estate plan makes death seem imminent. Elysium Legal helps ensure that putting together your estate plan will alleviate anxiety and peace of mind is gained when you know your assets will end up where you intend. Our experience shows that this process is highly empowering and liberating!

Estate Review Triggers

Estate planning is an ongoing process. Often we are asked, “How often do my estate planning documents need to be reviewed or revised?” We usually suggest that a thorough review be conducted at least every 3 years. But also consider reviewing your documents whenever you experience a significant life-changing event. Examples would include marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, death of your administrator or executor, retirement, a change in your health or the achievement of a child’s own financial responsibility. When these and other life events occur, consider reviewing your estate documents to make sure that the documents still correctly reflect your wishes and desires.

A Happier Ending to our Two Tales

So how could the problems in our initial examples have been avoided? In our first scenario, the husband could have named a trust for the benefit of his spouse as beneficiary. The trust could have involved a third party to oversee distributions from the retirement plan to make sure that assets were preserved for the intended heirs.

In our second scenario, a simple review of ownership and beneficiaries due to a major life-changing event would have avoided the problems. Anytime a person gets divorced or married, all assets should be reviewed for proper titling and beneficiary designations.

Into The Light

So, as you go through your checklist for that end of summer vacation, think about another checklist — your estate planning checklist. Make sure that you have all of your estate documents in place. Make sure they are up-to-date and properly reflect your wishes. Maybe you’ve heard the parable of the farmer who can “sleep when the wind blows” because he has thoughtfully planned and his animals and crops are already protected from the storms of life. With thoughtful planning and a determination to implement sound strategies, your mind can be at ease knowing that your expectations will be met. You’ll enjoy your vacations even more.


Keep Learning

I want to learn some more before moving forward

I'm Ready!

Get started with your Estate Plan with Elysium Legal!

The Elysium
Wellness Check

Start your personalized Elysium experience today! Fill out our quick wellness check and we'll tell you what services are right for you!

Untitled design-2
This service is being provided by an entity that is not a traditional legal provider. This entity is owned/managed (fully or partially) by nonlawyers who are not subject to the same rules as lawyers. For more information click here
Este servicio está siendo proporcionado por una entidad que no es una Proveedor legal tradicional. Esta entidad es propiedad / administrada (total o parcialmente) por personas que no son abogados que no están sujetas a las mismas reglas que los abogados. Para obtener más información, haga clic aquí.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Investment Advisory services offered through Lift Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor. 
© 2024 Elysium Holdings Terms | Privacy Policy | Disclosures