We say this without an ounce of hyperbole: organizing your estate plan is one of the most important things you can do over the course of your life. Without an estate plan, your assets and property may not go to the people who you think should have the assets, and it can cause unnecessary strife and litigation among your loved ones and family when you pass away.
Considering the importance of an estate plan, there are a lot of mistakes that you will want to avoid in order to ensure the estate plan is effective and proper. Unfortunately, the list of common mistakes that can be made by someone putting together their estate plan is extensive. So here are some tips to optimize your estate plan:
- Update your will frequently throughout your life. Marriage, divorce, newborn children, family deaths, valuable assets that are acquired — all of these things mean you should update your will. Major life events happen all the time, and your beneficiaries and assets should be updated to reflect them.
- Plan for incapacity and disability. As we get older, we will become physically frail and we could suffer from disabilities or incapacitation. Make sure you include clauses and provisions in your estate plan just in case these situations apply to you later in life.
- Don’t procrastinate. This is big mistake that many people make. Don’t wait to put together your estate plan. Start planning early, and you’ll be less anxious about your assets and wealth, and how those things are passed on to your loved ones, family members and beneficiaries.
Source: FindLaw, “Ten Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid,” Accessed Sept. 9, 2016