Once Pennsylvania residents make the choice - the right choice - to begin crafting a comprehensive estate plan, it is important for them to realize that not just any documents will do. They need to make sure that they have the right documents for their own unique financial and family situations. And, they need to be sure that they avoid some common estate planning mistakes. So, what are the big estate planning mistakes to avoid? Well, as a recent article noted, the big mistakes can be broken down into four particular concerns.
First, don't make the mistake of storing your estate planning documents in a location that is not easily accessible or even unknown to others who will need the documents when the time comes. At the very least, the person who is chosen to be the executor of the estate needs to know where the estate planning documents are and how to access them.
Next, when it comes to drafting an estate plan, don't make the mistake of trying to tackle all of the issues that need to be addressed at one time. The recent article noted that it is important to break down the list of tasks that need to be accomplished into a to-do list. After that, the recent article notes that it is important to make sure that estate plans are updated regularly. Failure to update an estate plan when big life changes occur can result in a plan that does not accomplish the planner's goals.
Lastly, don't make the mistake of avoiding a discussion about the estate plan with those who will benefit from the plans or those who may need to take action when the estate plan is implemented. The article suggests that people who have drafted an estate plan should talk to their loved ones about the terms of the plan.
Source: CNBC, "These costly estate planning mistakes can be fixed," Lorie Konish, May 10, 2018