One of the most common estate planning mistakes is a plan that is implemented incorrectly. Your estate plan is only worth the paper it is printed on unless you follow through on titling your assets correctly and updating your beneficiary designations.
Your estate planning attorney will inform you how to title your assets so the estate plan you’ve paid for will actually do the work you expect it to do. For example, you may need to retitle accounts in the name of a trust or change the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts or insurance policies. Your plan may not work the way you think it will unless you have properly titled your assets according to your attorney’s instructions.
Finally, consider sharing the details of your estate plan with your loved ones. The purpose of this exercise is not to be morbid but instead to let everyone know the details of your plan. It also gives your loved ones the opportunity to ask questions now, rather than be surprised later.
You may want to discuss with the person you have named as your agent where to find the advance medical directives or the durable power of attorney. Without the document, the person will not be able to serve you. You may also want to share where the will is stored and how the executor should go about obtaining a copy when you die.
Knowing that a good plan in place will ultimately give both you and your loved ones great peace of mind.
Read the rest of the series on Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid:
Mistake #1: Not Having an Estate Plan
Mistake #2: Assuming a Will is All You Need
Mistake #4: Creating Multiple Probate Estates
Mistake #5: Giving Gifts to the Wrong Beneficiaries