Estate Planning Facts To Know

Posted on: 10 March 2023

Estate planning is an important process and requires careful consideration to ensure that you cover all of the key elements. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand the various stages of estate planning as well as the maintenance needs and some important considerations that help keep your estate plan relevant and enforceable. When you prepare your estate plan, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

Expect the Unexpected

One of the biggest estate planning mistakes comes when you don't consider the potential for unexpected issues. Many people think of estate plans as solely for after your death. The truth is that a comprehensive estate plan is so much more than that. Make sure that your estate plan allows for possible issues such as incapacitation as well. If you are in a coma or otherwise unable to make your own decisions, your estate plan should address your wishes.

Include Contingencies

When you name executors, beneficiaries, guardians, and other key roles in your estate plan, always include contingencies. After all, what happens if someone listed in your estate plan predeceases you? Make sure that you have others listed as secondary options and update your estate plan regularly when something changes or if someone passes away.

Follow the Changes in the Laws

Stay informed of the changes in estate laws over the years so that you can modify your estate plan if necessary to help minimize the financial effect on your loved ones. Remember that estate tax issues and estate value considerations change regularly, so you want to be sure you stay current on the latest information. Working with an estate attorney is the most effective way to do that.

Remember the Effect of Major Changes

Any time there's a marriage, divorce, death, or birth in the family, you should review your estate plan. The same holds true for other major changes, including property sales or purchases and the acquisition of any new items of value. Even if you've recently received artwork or something similar, make sure that your estate plan is current with detailed inventory and valuation information.

These are some of the most important elements to think about when you are dealing with any kind of estate planning needs. Consider the importance of contingencies, proper preparation, and staying on top of changes, then work with an estate planning attorney who can help you do all of those things without concerns about missing important details.