Thinking about end-of-life planning is not something that is easy to do. Many people put off these discussions until it is absolutely too late, or they create a plan that doesn't address their specific needs. They leave a real mess behind for their loved ones, and this can take a considerable amount of time before all of their assets are finally passed down.
This posting discusses some of the most common estate planning mistakes that we see time and time again.
Forgetting crucial documents
Many people think of wills when they think of estate planning. They think that by drafting a will, they have done all that they need to do. This is far from true. You will have very specific needs for your estate, and it is important that you understand all options available to you.
You also need to be sure that you created a document that discusses the care that you should receive in the event that you are unable to make these decisions on your own. This will provide your family with crucial guidance at such an emotionally challenging time. If you do not have this information included in your estate plan, your family may fight disagree with the treatment administered to you, causing long-lasting disputes between family members.
Not including online accounts
Most people pay bills or do their banking online. If you pass away, you need to be sure that your loved ones know where you have your accounts, and how to access this information. Additionally, you may have other items stored online, such as family photos, and you should also disclose how to access these items as well.
Keeping the plan up to date
Did you recently get divorced? Remarried? Lose a loved one? If any major life events happened to you in the past year, you need to be sure that your estate plan remains current. If the document is not kept up to date, your property may go to those listed in the will. This could mean that ex-spouses or stepchildren may try to assert their rights to certain property, and this might result in severe difficulties for your loved ones.
Speak to an experienced estate planning attorney to learn more about the creation of a comprehensive estate plan. Whether you are considering estate planning for the first time or need to modify existing documents, you attorney will make sure that your plan reflects your current wishes.