When it comes to making your estate plan, what you do not make contingencies for can come back and cause you or your loved ones a great deal of distress and expense when it is time to execute it. It is not necessary for you to have much wealth or many assets to benefit from a carefully drafted plan. Your estate is as unique as your personality which is why you should make every effort to minimize any potential challenges that could arise when you become no longer capable of managing it.
It is likely that you will need more than a basic will to ensure your estate passes uneventfully to your heirs. Avoid these two estate planning mistakes to protect your legacy.
- Not funding revocable trusts
Many people establish revocable trusts when they first create their estate plans, with the intent to fund them at a later time. Any assets that you do not transfer to their respective trusts and title properly at the time of your death must go through probate. This is true even if you have included the assets in your will.
- Not making updates to your estate plan
Once you have created your will and trust, you should go back and review them periodically. Some experts recommend that you do this every year, but at the least, you should revisit your estate plan when tax laws change and when there is a major change in your family, such as a marriage, birth, divorce or death.
Estate planning is not always straightforward, but with careful oversight and professional guidance, you can make your final wishes iron-clad. Your heirs with also find it easier to grieve and move on after your death with fewer conflicts.