You took that big step. You found an attorney and you finally got a Will. So why don’t you feel better?
You should be experiencing peace of mind, but instead you’re still experiencing that nagging worry at the back of your mind.
Unfortunately, this happens to a lot of people. And we find that super frustrating. Working on an estate plan can be uncomfortable and hard, so when you finish the process you should feel great about taking a step to protect your loved ones!
Why do so many people walk away from the experience frustrated and still worried about the plan they created?
Here are 6 reasons people are unhappy with their plan:
These are just a few of the things we’ve heard over the years.
- “The attorney didn’t listen to me.” Sadly, this is quite common. Many attorneys just do what they do, without much concern for the humans sitting in front of them. Just the other day a client told me about a bad experience at another attorney’s office. When the family tried to tell the attorney they were uncomfortable with the way things were going, the attorney replied, “Well, that’s just the way we do things around here.”
- “I couldn’t understand what the attorney was talking about.” So many lawyers speak in a language people can’t understand. And if you can’t understand the person talking to you, then you certainly can’t effectively communicate with them to create a plan that will accomplish your goals. A few months ago I met with a very intelligent person who brought me their existing plan because they couldn’t really understand the attorney who had drafted it for them!
- “The attorney seemed to care more about the documents than my family.” An effective plan focuses on the people the plan will protect or help. The documents created during the process are just a tool. They should be carefully examined and customized for the people they will serve. They should not be the most important part of the process.
- “It was just a fill-in-the-blank form. Couldn’t I have done that myself?” Again, like in No. 3 above, the focus of the process should be the family and the people that will be helped by the plan. While you can’t have an estate plan without documents, they should not be the primary focus of the planning process. The values and the goals of the people creating the documents should determine the plan.
- “I don’t even understand what I signed. How do I know these documents will do what they’re supposed to do?” So many lawyers focus on the law and the documents used in the estate planning process that many people leave confused about what they just signed. Often there is confusion about when those documents will be effective and what they will do. Some people don’t understand that there are more things they may need to do when they walk out of the lawyer’s office, and if they don’t do them then their plan won’t work when the time comes! We HATE seeing this.
- “I now have the right ‘documents,’ but it doesn’t feel like I have the right ‘plan.'” When you create an effective plan that accomplishes your goals, takes care of your family, and everything you’ve worked so hard for, then you should feel relieved! You should feel proud of yourself for taking such a big step, and you should feel peace of mind knowing it’s take care of. If something doesn’t feel right, then it’s probably not. Listen to that little voice and get a second opinion.
So, What Can I Do If I’m Unhappy With My Will?
Unfortunately, poorly created estate plans are a reality for some people — but we can help. In addition to creating effective estate plans every day, we also help people with the aftermath of poorly created plans, and we help people redraft existing estate plans that will give you peace of mind and meet all your needs.
This is part of the reason I started my own law firm back in 2008. I wanted a firm focused solely on clients and estate planning. I wanted the plans we created to help families when they needed it most. And I wanted to do so effectively, making things easier for families, not harder!
At Edwards Group, our process is a bit unique, but we like to cover ALL THE BASES for families who are spending the time and resources on creating a plan to protect their loved ones and the things they’ve worked so hard for in this life.
If you’d like to learn more about effective planning and how the process works, we’d love to meet you at an upcoming workshop. Just call 217-726-9200 to save yourself a spot! Or you can view a video here where I talk about what to expect during the planning process.