Estate Planning Essentials
An estate plan is a combination of documents that specify how you want your assets (including money) to be handled when you die. They normally include a Will (with or without testamentary trust provisions) Powers of Attorney, Enduring Guardianships and Binding Nominations. There are some common mistakes that people tend to make. This post covers the most common issues.
Misspelled Beneficiary Names
A common mistake with is misspelling beneficiary names in documents like a Will. It might seem like a small, inconsequential error, but a misspelled name could cause unnecessary grief for a beneficiary. It adds a layer of complexity to administering the Will. Depending on your jurisdiction, some insurance companies may require additional documentation from family members to prove the beneficiary’s identity.
Not Updating Your Estate Plan After a Major Life Event
An estate plan is comprised of living documents, which means they can be modified as needed. You should revisit your estate plan is if you’ve recently experienced a major life event, such as getting married, divorced, or having or adopting a child.
Not Talking to Your Executor in Advance
Being an executor in a Will is a big responsibility. Sometimes people will assume that close family members or even friends are up for the task when they are not. Ask the person you want to be your executor and have a discussion regarding their responsibilities.
If an executor is unwilling or unable to act, the final decision of who should act as your executor may fall to the court and the outcome may not be what you intended.
Avoiding Mistakes in Your Estate Plan
Review your estate planning documents every time you make changes. That way your estate plan can be executed as smoothly as possible when the time comes.
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