Estate planning involves putting critical legal protections in place that help preserve and advance your goals for yourself and those closest to you. It is important to have an estate plan at any age and at any income level. You do not need to be old and you do not need to be rich for estate planning to be important. Far too many people make the mistake of putting off estate planning or thinking it is unnecessary for them. It is important to remember, however, that there are other mistakes people often make when it comes to estate planning.
Watch Out for These Common Estate Planning Pitfalls
Estate planning the right way is essential in helping to ensure that the protections you want for your goals are both recognized and effective. In fact, estate planning is not a “set it and forget it” situation. As life evolves and changes, so should your estate plan. One of the most common estate planning mistakes people make is to never review or update their plan.
Think of how much your life can change over the years. You may have kids, you may have more kids, you may get married or remarried. You may get divorced. Loved ones will die. New loved ones will be born. Your goals and vision for the future may change. After all, isn’t it the saying that the only constant in life is change? As your life changes and as you change, it is likely that your estate plan will need updates in order to preserve and protect your future goals for yourself and your loved ones most effectively.
It is also important to remember that the steps necessary to establish your comprehensive estate plan will involve more than just signing and executing a will. Estate planning is a multifaceted process and will likely involve a variety of steps to take. For instance, if you have established a trust as part of your estate plan, you will then need to fund the trust or it will not be effective. In order to fund the trust, you will need to transfer ownership of assets into the ownership of the trust. Assets left outside of the trust will not reap the benefits and protections of a trust. For instance, these assets will be subject to probate proceedings.
You may also need to update beneficiaries as part of your estate planning. Be sure that you have provided current beneficiaries for things like your retirement accounts and life insurance policies. You should also consider designating certain accounts, such as your bank account as payable on death. Designating a beneficiary for your payable on death accounts means that ownership and access to the account will transfer to the named beneficiary upon your death. No probate needed.
Another common mistake people make in estate planning is not investigating the many potentially beneficial legal tools that may help them accomplish their goals. There is a plethora of estate planning tools out there that are designed to meet a number of different goals. Do not miss out on their many benefits. Take the time to gather information and weigh your options.
Estate Planning Attorney
Get in touch with the knowledgeable estate planning team at Verras Law. We can discuss your estate planning options with you and help create a strong, comprehensive estate plan that protects a future you want for yourself and your family. Contact Verras Law today.