“Thought for the Day” #661 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

February 10, 2016

According to information presented at this year’s 2016 Heckerling Institute in Orlando Florida, the annual epicenter of estate planning in the U.S. and extension of the University of Miami Law School, 47% of all estate planning attorneys have made no change in the way they conduct their estate planning practices and engage with clients – this, despite massive changes in Federal law over the past five years that has altered the course and outlook of estate planning; not to mention the impact of technology on estate planning, shifts in consumer values, sentiment, and priorities, long-term health care and the costs of care, and much more.  The point of this morning’s blog is this – the responsibility to recognize change as the new status quo is yours.  If you abdicate this responsibility, you have nearly a 50% chance of plan failure that could result simply by way of your choice of estate planning attorney, not to mention the numerous other ways plans can fail through poor design or lack of maintenance and updating.  As part of your planning process, don’t be afraid to ask questions designed to ensure that your estate planner is part of the new 53%.