Why don’t many people engage in estate planning? They think that they don’t have enough assets to even need a Will or an estate plan. Another common mistake, for those who do have estate plans in place, is to think that once the documents are signed that they can be set aside and never reviewed. Both mistakes, as a recent article pointed out, can cause all kinds of headaches for your beneficiaries.
The recent article noted that almost everyone probably needs to have an estate plan in place, even if the estate planning is just to have a simple Will prepared. It doesn’t matter how old you are or your perceived lack of assets. Think about it: most people have a bank account, right? Most adults own, at a minimum, a vehicle and, probably, a home or condo. Who would receive those assets if something happened to you? If you have not done estate planning to spell out who will receive your assets, state law will dictate who receives them and these may not be the people you want to benefit.
But, even those who have estate plans in place are not immune to making significant mistakes. Admittedly, the biggest and most significant step when it comes to estate planning is the first step – getting one in place. However, as the recent article noted, your beneficiaries will thank you if you keep the plan up-to-date. Review your estate plan periodically. Weddings or divorces can occur; children or grandchildren may be born; and deaths of beneficiaries may take place. When these significant life changes happen, make sure to review your estate planning with an experienced elder law attorney to see how your plan is impacted.
Source: CNBC, “Think you’re not rich enough to need a will? Think again,” Deborah Nason, Oct. 24, 2017