Estate Planning Mishaps To Remember

If you know what to look out for, then you can avoid committing the many estate planning mishaps that people accidentally do all the time. Through this guide, you’ll get a better idea of the mistakes that can occur, so that you can avoid them at all costs. While creating an estate plan is of course a good idea, ensuring it is legally-binding and protects your best interests will be paramount. If there are any mishaps, it can cause your estate to have problems in the future, after you are already gone.

Failing To Plan

Perhaps the biggest mistake that you can make is failing to devise an estate plan. If you pass away without a will or other related documents, then your estate will be handled by the court system as laid out by intestacy law. What this basically means is that instead of leaving behind instructions for who and how much you want to be distributed from your estate, the court is going to decide this for you. This means that you are putting at risk your entire legacy, as it may not be handed down to friends, family, and charity organizations that you would have wanted to inherit them. For the future of your family and wishes, having an estate plan is essential.

Choosing One Beneficiary

As a Bozeman estate planning attorney at Silverman Law Office, PLLC explains, you must always have more than one beneficiary designated for your assets. In the unexpected event that a beneficiary passes away before you do, you need to have what is called a “contingent beneficiary”. This is the person who will be next in line to receive a specific asset from your estate. Ideally, you should have more than just one backup beneficiary listed for every asset that you have.

Keeping It From Loved Ones

If you write an estate plan but then don’t tell anyone about your wishes or where they can find your documents, then this can create problems down the road as well. It’s a good idea to let a few trusted family members know what your intentions are or at least where they can find your estate planning documents after you’ve passed away, so that they can ensure that your wishes are carried out as instructed. If no one is able to find your estate plan or locate your assets, it’s going to be difficult to abide by your preferences.

Not Updating Your Plan

It may come as a surprise to learn that once your estate plan is complete, it’s not actually finished. This is because your estate plan must always reflect your current relationships and life circumstances. If for instance you get married, divorce, have children, or have a falling out with a friend you listed as a beneficiary, then you’ll have to update your documents as these life events or changes occur.

Those who need to update or get started on their estate plan can make sure they avoid serious mishaps by working with an estate planning legal team for help along the way.