One of the greatest mistakes that many people make about special needs plans are thinking that estate planning is a one-and-done process. Even after properly appointing a guardian, trustee, health care proxy, and other necessary agents for a special needs plan, there are still circumstances that can arise and necessitate a change of these documents.
The following will review some important steps to follow to make sure that agent designations on special needs documents are properly updated.
Routinely Review Your Special Needs Plan
It is a wise idea to review your special needs agent appointment on a routine basis. It is also a good idea to stay in constant communication with your special needs agent. This is because changes inevitably occur that will change the appropriateness of your selection. The problem, however, comes in deciding how often you should review your estate planning decisions. Once a year is a reasonable guideline for reviewing these plans.
When to Change Special Need Agents
Even if you routinely review special needs documents, it can be challenging to determine exactly when to replace an agent. You should consider replacing a special needs agent any time after there has been a major life change that could impact that individual’s ability to serve in the role.
Some examples of events that could necessitate a change include divorce, marriage, medical difficulties, death, and a change in employment status. Some time might have passed and now an agent might not be able to satisfactorily perform the tasks required.
Remember the Less Than Obvious Change
Some less obvious changes should also cause you to consider updating a special needs appointment. A change might involve conflicts of interest with the company that holds a trust’s assets.
Many of these changes do not become obvious until the plans begin to take effect. Even if these changes do not result in a change, they should at least cause you to consider the potential of changing things.
Interest in Your Own Life Might Necessitate Changes
Some major life events might cause you to reconsider your selection of an agent. You should apply the same standard to your own life. This means that if you change jobs, divorce, lose a spouse, or undergo one of a variety of other life changes, you should consider changing your special needs plan.
Not only is it important to recognize these changes, however, but it is also just as important to promptly update your special needs plan to reflect these new conditions.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
There are numerous considerations involved in creating a successful special needs plan. Throughout the process, it is important to remember that you are the one who selects agents and as such, you are the one to make sure that you appoint the best agents possible.
If you need the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer throughout this process, do not hesitate to contact attorney Jim A. Lyon today.