Estate planning is an important proactive step you can take that can help provide your loved one’s peace of mind in the event you pass away or become incapacitated. However, mistakes in the planning process do occur. Failing to identify them and take action can result in challenges into the future. Below are a few things you can do to help ensure your estate plan is solid.
Know what’s in your estate plan
It’s important to truly understand what is in your estate plan. Simply relying on the documents and legalese located within without knowing what they say or are intended to do can result in possible issues down the line. Many estate planning attorneys will thoroughly go through estate plans with their clients; others will not. Always be sure to ask about the language in your estate plan, rather than accepting it as “gospel.” This can help mitigate unnecessary complications in the future.
Accounting for disability and long-term care
People are living longer and often require long-term care that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in assisted living care or nursing home expenses. An estate plan should include provisions that account for such instances. Inquiring with your estate planning lawyer is a good first step to protecting your assets in the event special care is needed for you or your spouse.
Updating estate plans
An estate plan is anything but “one and done.” Life is always changing. The birth of a child, death of a close relative, divorce or remarriage are just a handful of instances when you should consider altering your plan. Conducting an annual review with your estate planning lawyer can help ensure that your estate plan adheres to your present-day wishes and the right beneficiaries are listed. In the event of a divorce, for instance, your assets could go to an ex-spouse without a plan modification.