It is never too early to set up an estate plan, and doing so is a wise and responsible decision. As you begin setting up your plan, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid.
An estate plan is more than just a will
Remember to think broadly. Do not assume that an estate plan means merely having a will drafted.
While a will allows you to determine who will receive your assets after you die, there are also many other things that make up a comprehensive estate plan.
For example, some assets might be better off in a trust instead of a will, for various reasons. A living trust might be an important part of your overall estate plan.
Additionally, what happens if you are unexpectedly rendered incapacitated for a short period of time? A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to take care of your finances and make sure your bills are paid in the meantime.
You may also want to consider having a medical power of attorney drafted. This allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot, such as if you would want to be taken off life support.
Regularly review your estate plan
Once you have your estate plan in place, review and update it regularly. Many people set their estate plan up and then forget about it.
An outdated estate plan can lead to even more problems and complications for your family members after you are gone than not having an estate plan at all.
Review your will regularly to make sure you have not sold or transferred any assets listed in it, and review other pieces of your estate plan to ensure beneficiary designations are still up to date.
Everyone’s estate plan is unique, and knowing the best way to set yours up can be challenging. Having legal guidance through the process is essential.