“Thought for the Day” #892 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

January 26, 2017

In music there is such a thing as a “fake book”, a simplified version of music that is designed to help musicians learn and play songs more quickly – to fake it and possibly improvise along the way.  While fake books have their place among musicians, they do not represent the real thing.  By way of analogy, we could ask ourselves whether our estate planning documents (basic will or trust, and accompanying incapacity planning documents) are “fake documents” –  documents that are extremely simple, covering the very basics and barely skimming the surface of what is necessary to deal with today’s elder law and estate planning challenges in a rapidly changing world.  If so, it is inadvisable to settle for planning documents that fail to address contemporary complexities.  After all, even fake music books aren’t that simple.