Step Five: Implement Your Plan
A plan is no good unless you take the steps that are necessary to implement it. Many people sit around and think about plans, but don't do anything to set them in motion. This failure to implement a plan is even more common with estate planning. The reason is that most plans you make result in something you look forward to. Let's face it; it's unlikely that there are people out there who jump out of bed in the morning and say, “I can't wait to do my estate planning today, because I'm really looking forward to passing on!” But when you think about estate planning as part of your everyday life and consider the benefits you can enjoy today by creating and implementing a plan, you may have a little more motivation to get started.
A good estate plan is not set in motion in one hour. It's probably not accomplished in one day or even one week. In order to implement a plan, you need to be organized, understand your options and planning tools, and think about how your property should be distributed or managed if you are gone. This all takes time and effort.
If you follow the steps recommended in this book, you will be well prepared to implement your plan. Implementing your plan is not about having a lawyer draft documents. It is about knowing your story — who, what, where, when, and why. When you understand your story, you can take steps to determine which planning tools meet your needs. Then, you can either prepare the necessary documents yourself, or you can make an appointment with a lawyer who will be able to draft the documents for you. And remember, your plan will probably change regularly as your needs and the needs of your family change.