All adults must ensure they have an estate plan together so their loved ones know their wishes for assets. Getting this in order is critical so that your estate isn’t handled in accordance with the intestate laws that are set by state law.
As you’re getting your estate plan in order, you should be sure that you avoid some of the more common mistakes that people make. Any error in estate planning could mean that your wishes aren’t followed. There’s also a chance that errors could cost your loved ones time and money.
Error #1: Designating assets more than once
Each asset should only be included in the estate plan once. This is the only way to be sure that it’s handled properly. One thing to consider is that if you give the same asset to more than one heir, the estate may have to cover the value of the duplicated asset, which could reduce what other heirs receive. Remember, many financial accounts, including checking and savings accounts, are likely governed by a Totten trust or payable on death designation so you don’t include those in the estate plan.
Error #2: Failing to review the estate plan
Your estate plan isn’t a create it and forget it event. Instead, you need to review it periodically, including when you have major life events. Getting married, having children, your children turning into adults, and going through a divorce are some examples of those events. Even without those events occurring, you should check the plan every couple of years.
Getting your estate in order is a priority for all adults. You must ensure that you carefully consider all the options that are available to you to relay your wishes for your assets. Using your will, trusts and other tools can do this. Working with someone who’s familiar with situations like yours is beneficial since you can draw on their knowledge.