A solid estate plan helps you care for your family even after you are gone. It also ensures the assets you worked so hard for go to good use, whether it is helping loved ones pay for college or purchasing a new home.
While it is important for everyone to have an estate plan in place, avoiding common estate planning mistakes is equally so. Here are a few important factors to keep in mind when drafting your estate planning documents.
Name a guardian for minor children
One of the most important tasks of a will is designating a guardian for minor children in your care. Without this information, the court will make their own decisions when it comes to care of your child. While the court will make these decisions with the best interests of the child in mind, parents prefer naming a guardian on their own.
Establish long-term care planning
Estate plans can also help you while you are still alive. Setting up long-term care planning ensures you have access to the necessary medical care and support as you grow older. Placement in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is often exorbitantly expensive, but long-term care planning makes certain you have ample options.
Check beneficiary designations for accuracy
You can leave the proceeds from retirements accounts directly to your heirs without them going through the probate process. However, the beneficiary designations linked to those accounts must accurately reflect your wishes. If the beneficiary designations differ from your will, the court will use the names listed on the account.
You should check all estate planning documents, including beneficiary designations, every few years to make sure they meet your current needs. You can also update them after major life events, such as a new marriage or the birth of a new child.