Regardless of our age, estate planning can ensure that our assets and interests are protected and that our loved ones are provided for peace of mind. It is a wise decision to prepare, and it is equally wise to garner professional assistance in this preparation in order to protect ourselves and our interests from common pitfalls in estate planning.
Costly mistakes can occur in improper planning and failing to plan, leading to missteps that can ultimately undermine intentions and diminish your legacy. Avoiding these missteps can mean that you also avoid the added stress that your family may endure trying to navigate unchartered and unprotected waters that you may otherwise leave behind.
If you are someone who has already set plans into place, you may need to revisit those documents and make sure that your directives are not out of date. A common misstep is that we feel confident in our original documents, but fail to take into account that time may have produced significant changes since their inception. Children are born and grow, and marriages may dissolve, assets increase or change, many changes happen over the course of a lifetime.
It is important to remember that although you planned your estate at one point, it doesn’t mean it does not need to be continually contoured to fit your current status. Updating a will every five years is recommended in order to ensure that the documents remain current and up to date. Old documents can cause significant confusion and much more time to sort out once you are no longer present to confirm your intentions.
If you have yet to secure formal plans for your estate, you are leaving your legacy open to interpretation, which is not in the best interest of your beneficiaries. It is a common mistake to believe that you must have a lot of assets in order to have a need for estate planning. But estate planning is necessary regardless of whether or not you have or hope to have assets to leave beneficiaries.
Understanding how taxes will affect your estate, how your family may be affected by any payments or debts that will need to be resolved, and how any loose ends will be tied up is imperative to ensure that those you love are not left with an overwhelming legal mess. Regardless of the size and scope of your estate, professional assistance in proper planning can keep your assets, and your family protected.
If you are someone who needs to revisit, revise, and update your existing will and trust documents, or if you are wondering how to even begin planning for your family’s future, contact Jack Trent & Co. and let us help you in your estate planning needs.