When creating your estate plan, it is important to understand that this is a time-consuming process. Many people spend months creating a plan that suits their needs, and the more complex your assets are, the longer it will take.
You can help eliminate some of the excessive time it might take by understanding what mistakes to avoid, though.
Protecting your assets
Northeast Financial Strategies looks into estate planning mistakes you want to avoid making. First, do not leave asset protection unaddressed. If you worry about losing assets to a nursing home, look into strategies that protect assets as you near retirement. This can include life estate deeds, lifetime credit shelter trusts and other techniques that put your assets out of the reach of creditors.
Correct beneficiary designation
Next, designate your beneficiaries properly. If a beneficiary changes status due to death or divorce, remember to make this change in your plan. If you have a special needs child, remember to designate them as a trust FBO instead of a beneficiary, and so on.
Choosing the right executors
Finally, make the right choices when it comes to trustees and executors. For example, you should try to leave your surviving spouse as an executor/trustee, and another person with personal ties as a successor executor/trustee. If you name a financial institute, they will follow fiduciary responsibilities with a less personal touch.
You will also likely benefit from having legal aid as you work your way through your plan, even knowing what to avoid. This can help further streamline the process and ensure that you do not make any mistakes due to legal jargon you do not understand.