An estate plan is a snapshot of you, your family, your assets, and the laws in effect at the time of its creation. When we deliver a completed estate plan, it is current and up to date. However, it can and will become outdated—sometimes more quickly than you can imagine.

Laws change. Family situations change. Assets and finances change. It’s critical to know—and determine on a regular basis—whether the changes in your life or the law affect your estate plan and whether your plan needs to be updated. At Howes Law, we have a dynamic solution to the challenge of evolving estate planning needs. We call this solution EstateCare.

After completing your estate plan, we automatically enroll our clients in this critical program for one year, allowing them to experience first-hand how quickly their needs can change and how they can utilize the program for cost-effective and time-efficient methods for making amendments or additions to their plans. For EstateCare members, we monitor changes in the law and advise them when changes affect their planning. We also work with members to proactively update their planning to account for changes to their family, assets, and goals.


EstateCare Features and Benefits

Howes Law will review your estate plan on an annual basis to address some or all of the following:

• Revisit planning concerns and goals;
• Address changes to your family, health, investments, insurance, real estate, and business assets;
• Address changes in the legal landscape and federal and state laws;
• Update with newly developed strategies and improved language;
• Review fiduciaries and beneficiaries.

Each year you are a member of our EstateCare Membership Program, we will send you an annual review package with a summary of your goals and objectives from your initial planning or the previous year’s review, a summary of your fiduciaries and beneficiaries, and a questionnaire for you to inform us of any changes in your life that may affect your planning. When we receive the completed questionnaire, we will schedule a telephone conference or in-person review meeting. We will review with you any changes or updates that may be necessary, including changes necessary due to changes in the law, changes that you have requested, and changes that we may recommend based on new planning strategies or improved language.

Your estate plan will only work properly if your assets are coordinated with your plan. We provide ongoing asset coordination services to ensure your plan works as intended as their assets change over time, such as the purchase of a new life insurance policy, rental property, IRA rollovers upon a job change, etc. In addition, as part of the Annual Review process, we obtain current information on your assets, including any assets you have sold or new assets you have obtained during the previous year, and review your assets to verify that they are properly coordinated with your estate plan.

As an EstateCare member, we will provide complimentary updates to your fiduciaries and beneficiaries and other minor document amendments as needed (substantial changes may require additional fees). In addition, we re-execute your HIPAA authorization annually to ensure it is valid when needed.

As an EstateCare member, you will receive a discount on any additional estate planning or administration services at Howes Law, including: substantial estate plan changes and/or updates; will codicils; trust restatements or amendments; advanced planning services (such as standalone IRA trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, asset protection planning, etc.); and estate or trust administration services upon your incapacity or death.

During your EstateCare membership, we will be available to answer any questions related to your estate plan or coordinating your assets, and we will collaborate with your financial advisor(s), accountant, insurance agent or other advisors on any matter involving your estate plan at no charge. We are also available for questions involving other areas of law and finance outside of estate planning/administration, and will direct you to an appropriate referral source if appropriate.
  Your EstateCare Vault is a secure personal archive to store information your family and fiduciaries may need if you become incapacitated and after your death. We upload your estate planning legal documents, and you can upload financial statements, deeds, insurance policies and other documents to organize all of your asset and estate planning information in one place. You can also enter personal information about your family, assets, insurance, healthcare, memorial wishes, etc. You can share your information with family, advisors and fiduciaries by naming them as deputies in your vault and selecting exactly what information/documents you would like to share with each deputy. In addition, we will also safely maintain a duplicate original set of your estate planning documents in case your original documents are lost or destroyed. Only original documents will suffice for some of your most critical estate planning needs, so it’s important to ensure the originals are available when you need them.
Your healthcare documents are stored in a separate secure online vault that can be accessed by you, your doctors, or emergency medical personnel. You also receive a wallet card to notify emergency personnel of the existence of your healthcare documents and instructions on how to access them online or via fax. The wallet card also includes information about your emergency contacts, allergies, and medical conditions. In addition, we provide copies of your healthcare documents to your primary physicians at your request.
Most people don’t realize that when their children turn 18, they no longer have the legal authority to access their children’s healthcare information or make medical decisions for them. To solve this problem for our EstateCare members, we provide a complimentary Healthcare Power of Attorney and HIPAA Authorization for your children when they turn 18, so that if something happens to them, you have the ability to get information from their medical providers and make medical decisions for them.
  We host workshops for EstateCare members on various topics related to estate planning and administration or other topics of interest. As part of our EstateCare program, you will receive an invitation to all of our member workshops.
As part of your EstateCare membership, there is no additional charge for attorney Cory Howes to serve as trust protector in your estate plan during your lifetime.
We provide notary services at our Howes Law office at no charge to our EstateCare members. If you need a document notarized, please call us to schedule an appointment to take advantage of this complimentary service.