September 10, 2016Published Article

'State of the art' in estate planning

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter

“Continuous Improvement” is a basic and age-old commercial principle.

While more recently formalized as a practice in manufacturing, continuous improvement has been in use in our lives since day one. Those in our industry, estate planning, are progressive in moving the law forward to make planning better for the client. Yet we never rest on our laurels, and we always commit to the belief that an even better mousetrap is just around the corner.

Clients were in this morning for a plan check-up. The plan was 12 years old. They asked wisely, but in a more circumspect way … was there now a better mousetrap?

The good news —  in most significant respects, what we put in place years ago was just fine, and it was (generally). It was built for many of the anticipated expansions and contractions of life. It was fashioned with the idea that we can’t know what will change in the coming years (as it turned out, 12 years), but we know that some things will. Our plan still worked. So, of course the question is: if we build a flexible and resilient plan, why the check-up?

The simple answer is that most plans have a reasonable amount of flexibility in them, but life deals many changes, some within the reasonable realm of anticipation and some not.

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