You probably already know how important having an estate plan is. However, ensuring the plan is valid and legally binding is equally so.
According to U.S. News & World Report, there are lots of common estate planning mistakes to avoid. Here are a few of those mistakes, so you can rest assured they are not present in your plan.
Forgetting to appraise assets
Without an appraisal, you might under or overvalue assets in your possession. Not only does this affect the amount of money your heirs receive, it can also affect them from a tax perspective. Having items appraised ensures you are aware of the accurate value, so you can take the proper tax planning steps as needed.
Not reviewing estate plans
Wills and other estate plan documents must change according to your life. That means major events should trigger a review of your entire estate plan. Major life events include the birth or adoption of a new child, a new marriage, changes to your financial outlook, the purchase of new property, as well as many other situations. Even if there are no significant changes in your life, you should review your plan once every three to five years.
Waiting too long to establish a plan
Everyone should have a solid estate plan in place, regardless of age, health status, or amount of wealth. In addition to providing for your family, estate plans can also protect you in case you become incapacitated by illness or injury. Waiting too long to create one can leave you without a safety net should the unthinkable happen. It can also cause major discord in your family if they are unaware of your final wishes.
Once you create a plan, make sure your loved ones can access it easily. You should also ensure easy access to other essential documents, such as bank statements and property deeds.