When it comes to estate planning, there are many mistakes which are commonly made that can affect your loved ones’ lives. In order to ensure your own peace of mind that your family will be taken care of in the event of your death it’s helpful to garner an understanding of where it is that others have gone wrong. Here are some easily avoidable errors:
Not Having or Understanding a Plan
If you want to make sure that what happens to your hard-earned money and the rest of your estate once you die is exactly what you want then having a plan is essential. However, attempting to navigate the complicated world of estate planning on your own can lead to some pretty serious mistakes that could end up costing your family a good portion of what you intended to leave for them. This is why it’s important to have some professional help, but don’t let your financial planner create your estate plan without you fully understanding what it all means. Have them take the time to properly explain it to you, and make sure you ask any questions that may arise.
Not Regularly Checking and Updating Your Plan
Just because you have made a plan doesn’t mean that you never have to think about it again. Ensuring your plan is constantly up to date is important as major changes over the course of your life might affect how you want your assets to be distributed. Failing to check your plan every couple of years or after every major change to your family could result in people being left out of your inheritance or your assets going to someone who you are no longer close with.
Not Considering the Full Implications of Taxes
When making your will make sure you’re properly considering the way estate and inheritance taxes will affect what your inheritors will receive. Even if you think your estate is currently well below the exempted amount, you still need to be aware of all of the implications of these taxes as your estate might grow over time or new laws may be introduced. If you’re hoping to evenly distribute your assets amongst your children it’s best to not specifically name what they will receive as taxes might lessen what one child receives making it not as fair as you had intended.
Not Having a Living Will
In some regards having a living will is even more important than having one for what happens when you die. Having a living will ensures that if something serious should happen to your health you will still have a say in what happens to you. As a part of your living will, make sure you put into place a healthcare power of attorney to be in charge of your healthcare decisions, and that you check periodically that the right person for your situation is still named.
Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Jackson Wealth Management, LLC. Jackson Wealth Management, LLC is not affiliated with Triad Advisors, LLC.