Estate planning helps ensure that your assets get distributed according to your wishes after you are gone.
However, many individuals make avoidable mistakes that can jeopardize their intentions.
Procrastination played a role in keeping 54% of individuals over 55 years of age from creating a will, much less an estate plan. Some might think they have ample time to create a plan, but life is unpredictable. Creating a plan sooner rather than later ensures that you protect your assets and helps you make sure they get distributed according to your wishes.
Neglecting to update beneficiaries
Life changes, and so should your estate plan. Failing to update beneficiaries on life insurance policies, retirement accounts or other assets after major life events, such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child, can result in unintended consequences. Regularly review and update your beneficiaries to reflect your current circumstances.
Overlooking a contingency plan
A well-thought-out estate plan should include a contingency for unexpected events. If your primary beneficiary passes away before you do, have a plan in place for the next in line.
Ignoring tax implications
Be aware of the tax implications of your decisions, and explore strategies to minimize the tax burden on your estate. Seek professional advice to help you navigate this complex process effectively.
Neglecting digital assets
Consider your online presence and digital assets in your estate plan. Make sure that your loved ones have access to important information like passwords, accounts and digital files.
Not considering long-term care costs
Factor in the expenses associated with healthcare and long-term care. This foresight can help protect your assets and heirs.
Taking the time to address these considerations, so you preserve your legacy and take care of your loved ones the way you intend.