Estate planning mistakes are costly.
Mistakes and mishaps are rarely good.
Some, however, can have a greater fallout potential than others.
For example, making mistakes when it comes to your estate plan can be unforgiving.
You cannot fix them when you are dead.
Can they be avoided?
According to a recent The Street article titled“3 Worst Estate Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them,” knowing common mistakes is a good place to start when it comes to avoiding them.
So, what are common mistakes?
Your assets and accounts will not magically organize and inventory themselves.
You will need to make a list of what you own, owe, and where all relevant documentation may be found.
What should you include?
For starters, you should itemize your bank accounts, brokerage accounts, IRAs, mutual funds, and pensions.
Note any accounts accessible online, as well as the passwords and usernames for these.
Keep this list safe.
You want your executor to be able to find and access your accounts, but you want to protect them from the untrustworthy.
Wrong beneficiary designations.
Do you own annuities contracts, insurance policies or retirement accounts?
These assets pass through the beneficiary designations on the accounts.
If you do not review and update these regularly, you could be leaving these assets to the wrong beneficiary.
For example, are you divorced? Check to make sure your ex-spouse is not a current beneficiary!
Outdated estate plans.
Families can change.
If an estate plan fit your needs a decade ago, it may no longer meet your current circumstances.
What should you do?
Review your estate plan periodically.
If you have not yet created an estate plan, do so now.
Be sure to work with an experience estate planning attorney.
He or she will be able to guide you through the process to create a plan to meet your needs.
Reference: The Street (November 29, 2018) “3 Worst Estate Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them”