How Will Your Estate Plan Stay Current?


Click to Read Transcription





What happens if there are changes?


Well, this is a good question.  But, it’s the wrong question.  The question is not What if….   The question is…When there are changes, what is to be done?

You see change is essentially inevitable.  Whether it comes because some Federal or State law changes and requires an update, or our counseling convinces you that a change is in order, or something changes in your life that warrants a modification change is to be expected.  Because this is so, we have created what we call our GOLD PLAN MAINTENANCE PROGRAM.

Now, let’s just admit to ourselves that if it’s left to you to update your estate plan, IT WON’T WORK.   Let me tell you why.  When a law changes in the state of California and they file that law and they record it and it becomes codified, it becomes a public record.  That means YOU ALL are deemed to know about it.  So everything that was recorded today at the county recorder’s office, all of you know about it.  So if any of you have been pulled over by a policeman and you say, “I didn’t know about the law” that you just broke and are being written a ticket for, he will say, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

If there are any changes that should occur to the documents, due to a change in the law, THAT YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT, YOU’RE STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM.


Annual Reviews

So, how often do we review this?  My recommendation, ANNUALLY!   I recommend that we send you a letter every single year… the letter will arrive in January, and the letter in January will have in it the following:

  1. It will ask whether anything changed, suggesting that you review your previous decisions and make sure that they are all still current.  If an update is necessary because a change has occurred, it will be incorporated.
  2. It will inform you of any changes in the law and how they affect you.
  3. It will inform you as to whether any changes to your estate planning documents are necessary. If you are on the maintenance program, it will provide for any updates to the affected documents.
  4. In addition, we will suggest you review your assets to confirm that they are all properly titled. If not, we will assist with the proper funding of those assets.

You see, our clients KNOW there’s going to be a change and they KNOW that for a modest, annual fee, any changes required will be covered.


Regular Communication

It also covers communication to you via our monthly newsletter, and it covers the documentation that’s necessary due to the change that came.

Now, what if you have a question and you want to call our office?  You can call our office and there is no charge for the phone call.  That’s also part of the maintenance program.  What if your phone call generated a change in the documents, not because the law changed, but because there was something you wanted to change.  That’s part of the maintenance program.  The documents will NEVER become outdated again.  Now, that takes a HUGE burden off of you.



Another thing we do on the maintenance program is keep your DocuBank card current.  This is the program whereby you can access your healthcare documents anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Not only do we make sure the Health Care Power of Attorney is current, but that document is available no matter where you are in the world… completely accessible.  That’s part of the Maintenance program.

Docubank has other important services available specifically for minors, college students, and adults with special needs. Contact our office for more information.

There will be some years when there are no changes to your documents.  That’s the good news.  Now… it gets a little bit frustrating when people say, “I wasted my money.  I paid for this and they didn’t change the law or no other change was necessary”.  Well, let me ask you a question.  Do you have fire insurance on your home?  How many of you have had your home burned down?  ( NONE) So, my question is why did all of you have insurance?  JUST IN CASE!  That’s exactly right… JUST IN CASE.  Plus you receive all the other benefits I mentioned above.

So, this is the program we have created regarding the inevitable changes that will come in the future. It was created to maintain our client’s peace of mind; and it does.

 Download our Gold Plan brochure


As the saying goes: “Life happens.”  Your estate plan is a dynamic, living document that should undergo annual reviews, regular communication with your estate planner.  As your life changes, so should your estate plan.  Also consider a program such as Docubank that allows access to your health care information anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  In our next video, discover the answer to Is This Really Urgent?”  This one addresses the need for making estate planning a priority.

If we can answer any questions or provide a complimentary counseling session to discuss your specific needs, please contact us at 805-277-5020 or e-mail

Wealth Counsel

Wealth Council



Contact Us

Steven M. Greenwood, P.C.
2801 Townsgate Rd., Ste. 210
Westlake Village, CA 91361

805-277-5020 - Phone
805-277-5021 - Fax

click for map