It’s not as if anyone wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Oh good, today I get to put my estate plans in order.” Then again, ignoring this critical action item can impact your life in all sorts of ways you may not notice until it’s too late.

In a Grand Rapids Business Journal (GRBJ) feature article, Grand Wealth Management Principal Steve Starnes discusses some of the many surprising problems that lie in wait for families who haven’t kept their estate plans in order.

Missing or dated wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney and medical directives matter. They influence whether your wealth transfers, philanthropic intent and healthcare wishes happen as hoped for during critical or end-of-life events. They also alleviate some of the most stressful decisions your loved ones must otherwise make during difficult times.

While the article suggests revisiting your estate plans at year end, there’s never a bad time to take a good look at your estate plans. Life’s litany of changes – marriage, divorce, career transitions, retirement and health changes (especially mental acuity) – call for regular updates to existing plans and paperwork. This is too important to put it off until tomorrow.