You look to your estate plan as a means of protecting your assets and giving you a sense of control over the fate of your property after death. Wills and trusts are meant to give us peace of mind. But without a careful approach in establishing and updating your plans, you could wind up doing harm and potentially causing a headache for yourself and your loved ones in the future.
Take special precautions to avoid these mistakes as you plan for your estate:
- Failure to plan for disability – You can plan for a disability by appointing a power of attorney or establishing a living trust. This may protect you and your family from potentially detrimental personal and financial consequences.
- Adding your child to a deed – This can be a costly mistake, for which your children may be taxed. While you may want your children to inherit your properties, the best approach is to instead draft a plan that passes the home or value of the home to them.
- Failure to update powers of attorney – Powers of attorney can help give you control over your own medical fate and the fate of your assets if you establish them. Always ensure you review and update them regularly.
- Not adhering to changes in ownership – Life changes can bring in a need to update property and asset ownership information. Going back to assets in your plan, like trusts, and double-checking that they are assigned according to your desires can save you a hassle.
A well-prepared and updated estate plan will ensure your assets and loved ones are taken care of. Consult an attorney or an otherwise experienced professional for more information.