While it’s important to create an estate plan, there are many things that can go wrong with your planning. This may mean that you’re still unprepared for the future because your planning doesn’t meet your needs. We’ll take a look at six possible issues, to learn why your planning may not be as effective as possible. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to review your estate plan, contact an experienced, qualified estate planning attorney.
- You never update your plans. Once you create your plan, you need to stay on top of it. It’s important to review your planning every few years or when there have been any significant changes in your life, e.g., changes in health, wealth, or family circumstances (death, birth, divorce, etc.). A qualified, experienced estate planning attorney can help you decide if updates need to be made.
- Your loved ones don’t know that your planning exists. Once you create a plan, you need to let the persons you have selected to carry your your wishes know that it exists. If your family is unable to find your documents, or assumes that you never did planning, your wishes will not be respected. In order for your planning to be as effective as possible, you need to let others know that it exists. It is also prudent to keep original estate planning documents in a safe and secure place, such as a safe deposit box or fireproof home safe.
- You did your own planning. If you tried to save money by doing your own planning, there will likely be many negative consequences. Unless you are a qualified, experienced estate planning attorney yourself, you will lack the proper skills needed to create the best plan possible. You simply don’t know what you don’t know. Only a fool would attempt to take out his or her own appendix. However, when it comes to creating a will or trust, many wrongly believe it is as simple as completing a form by filling in the blanks. Nothing could be further from the truth. With the help of a qualified, experienced estate planning attorney, you can take advantage of a customized plan that meets all of your needs.
Take a look at our next blog post (part 2 of 2), to learn more ways in which your estate plan may not meet your needs.
If you have any additional questions, or if you’d like to update your estate plan, contact us at the Northern California Center for Estate Planning and Elder Law, (916) 437-3500.