If you are one of the millions of Americans who makes a New Years resolution, chances are that you will break it at some point during the year. For many, they forget about their resolution; for some it is the lack of willpower or lack of commitment that does them in.
Because of this, we dont necessarily advocate for making resolutions; especially when it comes to estate planning. In our experience, resolutions to create wills, trusts or to make tax planning moves tend to fall on the bottom of a yearly to-do list.
Even with that sense of apathy, life has a way of showing us that planning for the future is important and that estate planning is a necessary step towards preserving wealth and ensuring that your heirs are provided for in the event something happens to you. These instances are not always sad in nature (i.e. a death of a loved one, a bankruptcy, or a natural disaster). Rather, they can be joyous occasions, such as a wedding, the birth of a child or a family gathering. Indeed, there are many of these instances during a year. And each represents an opportunity to revisit conversations about estate planning.
The good thing about these opportunities is that information may be readily available and people may be in better positions (emotionally and financially) to discuss estate planning. Additionally, the motivations to follow up on a promise may be different. It is one thing to follow a resolution, it is quite another to adhere to a loved ones promise.
So as you begin the new year, follow opportunities that present themselves.