Estate planning is one of life’s necessary processes even though most people don’t enjoy it. That makes it even more important that your time doing it is well spent and that your estate plan functions as you intend.
Mistakes in the process can prevent this from happening. Here are some commons ones.
Say that your son gets the house, and your daughter gets the contents of your bank account. But what about those savings bonds you bought and forgot to mention anywhere or the antique car in the garage? Estate plans need to cover everything.
If your will says you want to leave your 1959 Chevrolet to your son, but you’ve already put it in a trust for your daughter, then it will create confusion for your family when you have gone.
Another common inconsistency is when people include retirement and investment accounts in their will but list different beneficiaries than they did when they opened the accounts. The institution that holds the account is required to honor the beneficiary designations they have regardless of what the estate plan says.
Forgetting to update your plan
Your second-born child is just as important to you as your first-born one. Everyone, including them, knows that. Yet there may be doubts and confusion if, when you die, they discover that the only child mentioned in your plan is the first.
It’s not just births that require you to update things. Marriages, divorces and deaths might all make it necessary. Gains or losses of assets can too.
The best way to ensure your estate plan reflects your wishes is to get legal guidance when creating it and updating it. Doing that can also help you take advantage of any changes in tax and estate planning laws.