Biggest Mistakes You Can Make On Your Estate Plan - Part II

Thursday, January 18th, 2018, 4:05 am

In our last post, we covered some of the biggest mistakes individuals make when creating their estate plan. Let's take a look at a few more problems you need to be aware of when creating your estate plan.

 

1. Not Including Your Retirement Account in Your Estate Plan 

 

Many of us save money for retirement, but unfortunately, that doesn't mean we will reach retirement. Whether you pass away before you retire or you still have funds available, ensuring you designate where your retirement should go is an important part of your estate plan. If you don't include a beneficiary for your retirement account, it passes to the estate.

 

2. Not Using "Lifetime" Trusts Appropriately 

 

Lifetime trusts can help you avoid probate. However, if they aren't used appropriately or applied incorrectly, they could cost you. When creating a lifetime trust, also known as a revocable trust, you need to ensure you're creating them appropriately.

 

3. Not Coordinating Beneficiary Designations 

 

Your will and your estate plan must follow the same plan. If your will states one thing, you want to ensure your estate plan says the same. Failure to update both can cause major headaches for your family and your legal team after you pass. Ensure that both your estate plan and your will designate the same items and property to the same beneficiaries.

 

4. Not Explicitly Stating Your Desires 

 

Many individuals choose to trust that their family members will do the right thing when splitting items and assets. However, you never know how people will act when it comes to money or property. Don't take the chance and assume people will do the right thing. Instead, explicitly state who you'd like to receive your assets and property within your estate plan.

 

Creating an estate plan needs to be a well-planned and properly thought out process. When you create your estate plan the right way, you can ensure that all your items and assets fall into the right hands. For help creating an estate plan, ensure you work with an estate planning attorney. Give us a call at Michael F. Kanzer & Associates, P.C. at 718.769. 7200.

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