You not only need to an estate plan, but you need one that will meet your individual needs. With the right plan in place, you and your family will be protected for the future. There are reasons why your current plan may fail you. Take a look at the following reasons, to better understand the importance of a solid plan. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to update your estate plan, contact a qualified, experienced estate planning attorney.
- You only create a will. Many people assume that a will is the only needed estate plan document. While a will has certain benefits for persons with modest (i.e., less than $150,000) estates, there are other planning needs to consider. You likely want to make sure that you’re protected during your lifetime and after your death. With the use of the correct mix of estate planning documents, e.g., comprehensive trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives , among others, you can do this.
- You make errors when funding your living trust. In order for your living trust to meet your needs and work properly, you need to make sure that all of your assets are titled properly. If you aren’t extra careful, you may miss out on the benefits of having a revocable living trust. It’s recommended that you work with a qualified, experienced estate planning attorney when handling your trust affairs. Special attention also must be paid to retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.), life insurance and annuities as improper titling and beneficiary designations could cause unnecessary taxation and unintended distribution of these assets.
- You forget to consider the use of insurance. Insurance is often an essential part of an estate plan, so that you can achieve more of your goals. Some insurance options to consider include disability insurance, life insurance, liability and property insurances, and long term care insurance. Failing to consider these options may mean that you’re unprepared for the future.
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.