Estate Planning – Changes to Existing Documents
It’s Natural to Review and Revise Your Documents Over Time, and We’re Happy to Help You Do That.
If we prepared the documents that you would like to change, then we have them in our system and can make the changes easily. We would need your instructions in clear detail – this could be an email referring to specific sections of the document, or a mark-up of a copy of the document. (Please do not mark-up the original signed document, as that would invalidate it and leave you unprotected until the new document is signed.) In order to be sure we understand your wishes clearly, it is important that we meet in person or have a call. (Please schedule this on our calendar. We cannot undertake changes without first having a meeting or a call.) Once we clearly understand your wishes, then our staff can usually turn around the changes in a week or so. This work is charged at our discounted hourly rates
Revised documents are, legally, new documents, so we need to print and sign them with the same formalities as the original documents. This is normally done in our office, where we have witnesses and notaries readily available.
If you would like us to review documents that were prepared by someone else, that’s fine, too. We will be happy to let you know if changes are needed, or if your existing documents are still serving their purpose. We have no wish to sell you anything you don’t need. But if changes are warranted, we would probably undertake our standard process for the creation of new Estate Planning documents. It is sometimes possible to write amendments to your existing documents, but will codicils can be problematic, so new documents are usually preferable.
The review would be charged at our discounted hourly rates, but if a new Estate Planning project is undertaken, then the only charge would be the flat fee for that project.
When Are Changes Needed?
Some of the events that may occasion a review or update to your documents are:
- receipt of inheritances, or other significant changes in wealth
- any of these events in the lives of your children or other heirs
- changes in your relationships with the people you’ve named as executors, beneficiaries, and in other roles.