Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Need Help With Your Estate Plan? Go With the Flow, Advisers Say

Flow"As older adults face mortality during the pandemic, lawyers and wealth advisers are using color-coded documents and flowcharts to help them understand estate planning."

Andrew D. Hendry, a lawyer who worked as general counsel for Colgate-Palmolive, was used to complicated legal documents. However, Mr. Hendry was not interested in digging through legal documents concerning his estate plan. Due to the intricacies of estate planning and the legal documents that come along with it, many people put the process off or do not address it at all. 

However, when the coronavirus crisis became a real and viable threat, Mr. Hendry, 72, decided that it was probably time to revisit his plan. He reached out to his wealth advisor who created a series of color-coded documents. Hendry was pretty excited about this arrangement. The flowchart laid out who got what, when, and why. Mr. Hendry stated, "the flowchart is the guiding document."

As many could probably guess, flowcharts are much easier to comprehend than a slew of documents filled with legal jargon. Flowcharts can be on a single page and can contain options for when either spouse dies, where money will flow and whether it will go to children, charities, friends, family, etc. Further, a detailed spreadsheet will allow people to tweak how much is going to who and what assets are transferred and when they will be transferred. 

For people who are not trained lawyers, the charts can help them understand the plan and can serve as verification that their desires will be fulfilled. 

See, Paul Sullivan, Need Help With Your Estate Plan? Go With the Flow, Advisers Say, N.Y. Times, July 24, 2020.

Special thanks to Matthew Bogin, (Esq., Bogin Law) for bringing this article to my attention. 


Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink


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