By now, you would have heard of the importance of planning for your estate and many people have taken that step in the right direction. Unfortunately, this task can be rife with complicated issues like taxation and state-specific estate laws. The main goal of making these provisions are to ensure that both your property and your debts don't present a problem for the loved ones you leave behind, so read on to learn about some common snafus that can occur with estate planning.
You put this task on the back burner.
It stands to reason, making plans for events that occur after your death are seldom a positive, happy subject to address. Just like important issues like insurance and savings plans, however, the sooner you address the tasks the better off you will be. No one expects to pass away unexpectedly, but accidents do happen. Even if you are in the best of health and relatively young, you can create a comprehensive estate plan that can be adjusted as you grow older and more wealthy. The important point is to begin the process and get a plan in place. Early planning also means more time to research and create a customized plan to suit your circumstances.
You never revisit your estate plan.
No matter how old you are or what your income is like, your life will likely go through changes over time. Make sure that you keep tabs on these changes by adjusting your estate plan. In most cases, a simple visit to your estate attorney every few years will mean that you have an updated plan that addresses deaths, marriages, births, large purchases, changes in a business and more.
You make the assumption that you will always be in good health.
People are just healthier now than in times past. With medical advances, medications, eating healthier and getting more exercise people are living longer, but often they do so with the potential for a disability that affects them and their loved ones. Estate plans are about so much more than just wills; you should not overlook plans to address some of these other issues:
- Medical power of attorney, which allows someone to make medical related decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
- Durable power of attorney, which allows a trusted friend or family member to make decisions about your finances or your business in the event you are incapacitated.
- Living will, which sets out your wishes for resuscitation in a medical situation.
- Provisions for long-term care, which can include savings or a long-term insurance plan.
- HIPPA authorizations that define who you wish to be privy to private medical information.
- Life insurance, which is often less expensive if purchased earlier in life.
Speak to an estate planning attorney to learn more about any of the above.