It's not just millionaires that need to make provisions for after their death, everyone needs to make an estate plan. That said, estate planning does present people with several opportunities for making mistakes. If you are interested in ensuring that your property and debts are properly disposed of after your death, read on to learn about what not to do when planning your estate.
Delays and procrastination.
When you think about it, planning for what to do with your property after your death is a pretty serious matter, and often people want to avoid planning for what is an inevitable occurrence. Don't make the mistake of believing that you always have time to plan your estate when you are older or richer, death can happen unexpectedly and you could very well be leaving your loved ones unprepared to deal with financial matters if you die without a plan in place. Making estate plans early allows you the luxury of time to research options and make important decisions after consulting with experts on the matter.
Making a will and/or a trust, but then not updating them.
Estate planning is not a "one and done" type of endeavor. Just as your life goes through changes, so should your estate documents. A simple and quick meeting with your estate attorney to make changes will do the trick; no need to re-do the entire document. Most experts say to make updates whenever you have a relationship change, such as a marriage or add a child, or when you add more property to your estate, such as a home purchase.
Failing to plan for disabilities.
Thanks to medical advances and people making healthier lifestyle choices, people are living longer than ever, and few people ever consider what could happen if they become disabled in the future. The chances of needing specific documentation to address medical and other disability-related concerns are high, and every estate plan should include the following documents and provisions that address disability and incapacity:
Revocable living trusts: similar to a will, but with no need to be probated.
Medical power of attorney: names someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Durable power of attorney: names someone to make business and financial decisions on your behalf.
Living will: defines your wishes in regard to resuscitation.
HIPPA provisions and authorizations: defines your wishes in regard to privacy of medical information.
Long-term care insurance: provides funds for nursing homes, assisted living and other living arrangements.
Speak to an attorney like Skeen Law Offices for advice.