A well-thought-out estate plan can do wonders for your peace of mind and finances. Yet, each year, when people die, many of their families are left with problems because the deceased made mistakes with their estate planning.
Let’s look at some of those mistakes:
Not having an estate plan in the first place
It’s an obvious error, yet one that plenty of people commit. People seem to assume there will be time to do it later, yet history shows that sometimes there is not. Death can surprise us when we least expect it.
Failing to update the assets mentioned
Estate plans need to be current to be effective. If you made yours ten years ago and have not looked at it since that day, then you urgently need to find it and review it. If it mentions assets you no longer own or fails to mention ones you now do, it will create confusion for those you leave behind.
Failing to update the people it mentions
Another great reason to update your plan regularly is that your wishes may change. You probably do not want to leave things to the person you divorced earlier this year. You likely do want to leave something to the new child you had the year before. Other things that might need updating include the people you nominate for roles such as executor or power of attorney.
Failing to take account of new laws
Estate planning can help you take advantage of and abide by current tax laws. Yet, it can only do that if you update your plan when relevant laws change.
If you find making or updating an estate plan a complex proposition, remember there is help available to learn more.