Most people understand the importance of estate planning but may be ill-informed about the process. This leads to costly mistakes that may create probate complications for your family after your death. Although not planning at all is the most common estate planning mistake, other mistakes are problematic as well.
There are some significant estate planning mistakes everyone should avoid.
1. Not updating the plan regularly
One common mistake that people make with estate planning is drafting the plan and ignoring it afterward. Things change financially and within your family structure over time. That means your estate plan needs consistent reviews to account for those changes. Review and adjust your estate plan any time something changes or at least once a year.
2. Not considering incapacitation
Your estate plan needs to account for the potential of incapacity. Your estate plan should include a medical power of attorney to appoint someone for your medical decisions. Choose your medical power of attorney carefully and select someone who understands your wishes. An advanced directive supports your medical care wishes when you cannot make decisions yourself.
3. Not talking with your family
A key part of estate planning is clearly setting expectations for your loved ones. Take time to talk with your family about your plan, your intentions and any special considerations so that everyone knows what to expect. This reduces the risk of contested wills and minimizes conflict with your beneficiaries.
The right estate plan makes your final estate management easier for your loved ones after your death. Avoid these common mistakes to ensure a comprehensive, accurate plan.