When it comes to getting end-of-life affairs in order, having a thorough estate plan can be one of the best ways to ensure that you have made your intentions clear. You may consider yourself a thorough person when it comes to planning for any type of event, and the fact that many estate-planning options exist may leave you feeling comforted and excited to start the process.
What you may want to remember, however, is that anyone can make mistakes when it comes to this type of planning. Estate plans involve various areas of law and many legal documents, and even a seemingly simple error could cause considerable problems when it comes time to execute your plan.
Putting all your eggs in one basket
As you learn about the different types of planning tools, you find yourself thinking that some options have more advantages than others do. This notion may certainly prove true for your case, but you may want to remember that each document could still serve a purpose for your estate. For instance, you may favor the idea of placing your assets into a trust or multiple trusts because it acts as a protective measure for the assets and your beneficiaries. However, you may not want to create only trusts and forgo a will.
Without a will, you may put the guardianship of any minor children you have up to chance as a will is the only place where you can legally name your guardian choices. Wills also serve other purposes, like providing instructions that any assets that you did not place in the trusts at the time of your demise are distributed to the trusts after your death.
Sending mixed signals
If you wish, you can disclose any information you intend to put in your estate plan to your loved ones. This action may include telling your intended heirs and beneficiaries who may receive certain assets. However, if you take this step before creating your plan, you may want to ensure that your documents reflect the information you told your family or that you inform your loved ones that you have changed your mind.
If you tell your family about one plan and then have your legal documents reflect another plan, your estate could end up in turmoil later.
Of course, as a thorough planner you do not intend to leave anything up to chance. Still, you may want to keep in mind that to err is human, and reviewing your estate plan periodically could help you ensure that every aspect remains in order.