Making sure that your estate plan is ready for your loved ones when you pass away is a priority. In order to have everything ready, you need to make sure that you aren’t making some common estate planning mistakes. These mistakes could mean that your estate plan isn’t valid or that you are opening it up to contests about the contents.
First, make sure that you have everything executed in a legal manner. The terminology and wording of the will and other documents can have an impact on what happens after you pass away. Even small errors can have significant effects on your loved ones.
Second, don’t forget to review and update the estate plan. If you have any major life changes, such as a marriage or birth, your will and estate plan might need to be updated. In the absence of major changes, you should review the will at least once per year to ensure that it still reflects your current wishes.
Third, don’t forget to plan for yourself. While you might associate your estate plan with the time after your death, some components plan for your life. If you are unable to care for yourself or make decisions for yourself, you might need someone to have powers of attorney over your health care and finances. You might also need medical directives that let doctors and others know what care you want and don’t want.
Fourth, take the time to create a plan for your children. Guardianship designations in estate plans can help you have a say in who is going to raise your children in your stead.
A well-created estate plan can give you peace of mind and can help your loved ones to navigate your final days and the days after your death. Develop your estate plan with that in mind.
Source: FindLaw, “Ten Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid,” accessed Feb. 16, 2018