Estate planning can be a complex process, and it is all too easy to make errors that could affect your end-of-life preparations.
Here is how to avoid common mistakes that could derail your arrangements.
Keep your plans current
Your circumstances and intentions can evolve after you finish setting up your will, trust or other estate documents, and you will need to update your plans accordingly. You should revisit your arrangements after any major life events, including:
- The birth of a child or grandchild
- A move to another state
- The death of a loved one
- A change in your marital status
- A shift in your financial situation
You should also periodically review your estate documents to account for changes in state tax and inheritance laws.
Communicate your intentions
Though you hope your beneficiaries will honor your wishes, a messy fight over inheritance is always possible. Setting expectations ahead of time can help reduce the risk that one or more of your heirs will challenge your estate plans.
Name a healthcare proxy and power of attorney
Your estate plans are about more than what happens after your death. They can also be an important tool if you become incapacitated. You should consider naming a trusted healthcare proxy to handle medical issues and a power of attorney to make financial decisions in the event you are no longer able to do so for yourself.
The biggest mistake you can make in estate planning is not having a plan at all. Make sure to prepare the appropriate documents to alleviate the burden on your loved ones when you pass.