The estate planning process is complex and has significant implications for your family’s long-term experiences. When you decide that the time is right to create your estate plan, you should understand how to avoid common pitfalls.
There are a few things you can do to prevent some common estate planning mistakes.
Choose your trustee carefully
A trustee holds a lot of responsibility for the beneficiaries of a trust. Make sure any trustee you appoint is trustworthy, responsible and dependable. Remember that the role of trustee should not go to friends but to individuals who can fulfill the duties without conflict or delay.
Address the risk of incapacitation
A common estate planning mistake is failing to account for the risks of incapacitation. Your will applies only after your death. Establish a living will and both financial and medical durable power of attorney for the potential of coma or inability to make decisions on your own.
Keep your estate plan current
Once you finish writing your plan, you may feel relieved and eager to file it and forget about it. Forgetting about your estate plan is a mistake. Review your documents yearly to ensure that your information is current and correct. Assess your beneficiary details, executor appointment and trust information for accuracy. A codicil provides an easy solution for making a change if necessary without rewriting the whole document.
Your estate plan will evolve with you throughout the rest of your life. Consider these suggestions to reduce the risk of making some common mistakes.