The February 2013 edition of Consumer Reports (CR) has an interesting article on “7 Money Stumbles to Avoid”. CR completed a study about American’s money habits and found “several common and insidious blunders that could cause significant financial, and sometimes emotional, pain.”

Guess what was Number 1! Not updating Last Wills and beneficiaries. “Eighty-six percent hadn’t updated their wills or other estate-planning documents within the past five years.” One example of the result: “an older man whose son died before him. The man never updated his will to include his son’s widow and child—his grandchild. That branch of the family lost out.” Another, more common problem is a failure to coordinate one’s wishes in the will to the beneficiaries on their assets. “The will may leave everything to the four kids equally, but his 401(k) may name a particular person as beneficiary. That is the cause of a significant number of disputes after people die.”

I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, this is why I have instituted our firm’s “Client Care Program”. Each year, we offer the CCP Program to our clients who have prepared estate documents with us. For a small flat fee, I will review your file and report on needed changes. Preparation of amended or new documents are included in the program, as is our firm newsletter and an opportunity to attend two of our client dinners offering a speaker on a helpful topic. This is our second year of the program, and it is a huge success.

© Shanahan & Voigt, LLC 2014

BE ADVISED that these comments are not legal opinions and are not to be relied upon as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact your county bar association; most of which have referral services.