Completing your estate planning tasks might not necessarily be enjoyable, but it’s one of the most critical things that you must do to ensure that your estate is divided as you intend it to be. When you complete your will, there are many issues that can crop up and lead to problems now and in the future. What are some of the most common mistakes that people make when not working with a skilled estate planning professional?
Lack of Communication
You know where all of your paperwork and notes are, but do your loved ones? Make sure that you do a thorough job of showing your children and loved ones how to access things like your safe deposit box, will, passwords and other important paperwork. It’s a great idea to create one folder with everything needed in the event of an emergency so that they can quickly access it if you are incapacitated or pass away.
Dividing Your Estate Up Among Your Children
Dividing up your estate can be complicated when there are multiple children involved. If all of your children are at the same place in life, dividing things equally is a great idea. However, if one child had a particular interest in a certain asset or needs more assistance, dividing things differently could be a better idea. Think things through carefully when making decisions about what will happen to your estate, and revisit your will annually and as your children change to ensure their needs are taken care of.
Be explicit when talking in your will. Remember that you will not be there to clarify things when they are interpreted, so you should be as clear as possible. For example, don’t write that your china or jewelry should be divided among your children. This can lead to conflict when two children want the same item. Instead, you should be as specific and clear as possible.
Finally, you should make sure that you update your will regularly over time. Relationships and needs change. Would you want to accidentally leave your ex-spouse or a deceased person things in your will? Updating your will and estate planning documents once a year is a great way to ensure they are always accurate.
Estate Planning with Miles Tax Advisory
If you are unsure of whether or not you should choose a will or a trust for your estate planning , we are always here to assist you!