So many people make mistakes in their estate plan but do not realize it on time. Unfortunately, most of these errors are realized by the survivors when the person dies and things begin to go contrary to what was expected. It is generally advised to seek professional assistance from an estate planning attorney near you in preparing your estate plan.
Failure to make updates to beneficiary designations
The instructions written in your will or trust would determine what asset will go to whom. But even as this is so, some assets like insurance policies and retirement accounts pass on to beneficiaries outside a written will. When you establish the documents for these assets, you named beneficiaries. If you had later drafted a will, you still have to review those assets to ensure the designations are still in line with your intentions.
Failure to fully utilize your trust
The reason most people create trusts is their ability to avoid probate and the expenses that come with it. But some fail to fund the appropriate assets into the trust. Only those assets funded into the trust will pass outside probate. If you leave valuable assets outside the trust or fund the wrong assets into it, then your goals would not be achieved.
The manner in which your assets are owned plays a major role in deciding how such assets will be disposed when you die. Those held in your name only will pass through probate but those held by joint tenancy will pass to the other owner directly after your death. It is important to go over your assets to understand how they are titled and therefore how they can be passed. New developments in your life as well as updated estate laws would likely also affect the titling.
Failure to update each document
Most of your estate planning documents are made to go into effect only when something unfortunate happens, such as your death or incapacity. Before that happens, certain events may affect your decisions which you have already made in the documents. For example, if you had already named John your successor trustee, but they end up predeceasing you or becoming incapacitated, it means your trust would become rather ineffective. Also, tax laws change yearly. The exemption amount was 5 million before 2018 but currently is $5.85 million. Your estate may be tax exempt this year but may become liable in 5 years’ time.
It is crucial to review your estate planning documents from time to time to ensure they currently meet up with your goals.
Estate planning as a whole should meet your ultimate goals; therefore, each document should be treated as part of a whole rather than an independent entity.
Not consulting an estate planning attorney
The greatest mistake you can make while estate planning is going it alone without consulting expert hands. Estate planning is a legal matter and there are many requirements that may limit you as well as strategies that would greatly benefit your objectives. Only a legal professional would be competent enough to apply these strategies to serve your best interests. And most importantly, an estate planning attorney will prevent you from making all the above mistakes.
There is often a risk that arrangements or estate plans made without a legal backing or attorney could go into probate with the estate’s families or heirs disputing the specifics. An estate planning attorney, however, can step in and act as an influence of third parties, also the attorney can act as a custodian of the original copy of the estate plan preventing it from being revoked. An estate planning attorney will act as the legal backing you need. Should there be any dispute or contest against your plans; be sure you have adequate answers through an attorney.
Contact an estate planning near you today.
Simple mistakes can ruin estate plans, lead to loss of property or financial benefit. You need an expert capable of making suitable and approbation estate plans and documents. Contact our estate planning attorney today.
In addition, our estate attorney through years of working expertise will offer assistance, counseling in estate related issues, probate matters, family law issues, and other advance guardianship and conservatorship issues in New York.