Relieving anxiety and taking care of loved ones are two common goals with estate planning. In your efforts to accomplish your objectives, be careful that you do not succumb to common pitfalls.
Learn how to protect all the time and effort you spent planning your estate. Do not let a lack of information or oversight spiral into an avoidable disaster.
Neglecting to revisit inheritance as your children age
Maybe you set aside an inheritance for your children when they were first born. Now that you have an adult son or daughter, you may feel uneasy about her or his ability to handle any money you leave. You could foresee a disaster if your child and his or her spouse divorce after combining assets, including the inheritance you left. Consider going back and adjusting your child’s inheritance and the rules surrounding it.
Naming the wrong personal representative
The personal representative, known as an executor in some states, you named in your estate 10 years ago may no longer be a suitable choice. For instance, you could now feel that your original personal representative may no longer act in your most favorable interests, or perhaps the person is now too old to make good decisions for you and your loved ones.
Not giving your personal representative access to your medical records
Does your living will or health care power of attorney give your personal representative access to your medical records? The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects your confidentiality regarding your medical records, but your representative must see your medical records to make well-informed medical decisions if you ever become incapacitated. Check your estate planning documents to ensure that medical professionals can share your health information with your representative.
Estate planning is not a one-time project. Over the years, take steps to avoid unnecessary mishaps.