What do sweaters in the suitcase have to do with estate planning? Let me tell you.
As I sit down with clients to review the draft of their living trust, they may think the trust is much thicker than they expected. Before we review the trust, I tell them a story.
I’m terrible at packing for trips. I pack way too much. I always think I need everything – all kinds of extra clothes, books, all kinds of stuff. Of course, with each trip out of town, I don’t use half the stuff I take. So, what happens when I take the next trip? Same thing. I still pack way too much because, you know, I just might need it. Doesn’t matter that I usually don’t need all that because this next trip I just MIGHT need it!
What does this have to do with a living trust document? As we look through the trust documents, there are various paragraphs, pages, even entire sections that are “extra sweaters in the suitcase”. It’s there if we need it, even if we probably won’t need it.
Since our estate planning clients don’t pay us by the word or by the page or even by the hour (they pay flat fees), then we make sure our living trust documents have all the “extra sweaters” that may be needed in the future to carry out their plan.
Want an example of an “extra sweater” in the trust? Well, we have an entire section that talks about what happens if we can’t find a beneficiary. If we leave money to a long lost cousin and don’t know where the cousin is when it’s time to distribute, we have a process laid out clearly in the document so it doesn’t hold up the rest of the trust plan.
That’s just one example of the various “extra sweaters” we include in our legal documents to better protect our clients and their families.
If you’d like to read more about what trusts are and what they do, check out our blog post, “Your Bucket List for Estate Planning: Why a Trust Might be Right for You.”
P.S. I am writing this sitting in a hotel in Denver, Colorado at a conference. And yes, I again packed way too much stuff! But it’s here if I need it…