You probably know that having an estate plan is crucial. Estate planning protects your family, but it also ensures asset dispersal happens according to your wishes.
According to U.S. News & World Report, you should also work to avoid certain estate planning mistakes. Here are the most common missteps and how to prevent them from ruining your plans.
Talk to your heirs about your plan ahead of time
If your heirs are unhappy about the inheritance they receive or feel slighted in some way, they are more likely to contest your estate plan. This can lead to a long, drawn-out process that leaves your assets in limbo and your family in a state of turmoil. While you cannot prevent all disputes regarding your estate, talking to your heirs while you are still alive and explaining your reasoning may alleviate some tension and hurt feelings.
Make sure your records are well-organized
Along with a copy of your will, you must also keep accessible, well-organized records. Try to keep financial documents, real estate deeds, property titles, and other pertinent information in a safe, secure place in your home. Make sure your family knows where to find these documents. You can also leave a copy with your attorney for safekeeping.
Update your will as needed
Your will should change according to your life. That means updates should accompany new marriages, divorces, the birth of a child, adoption, and all other major events. Even if your life has not changed significantly, you should still conduct a review of your estate plan every three to five years.
Also, consider the impact that moving to or buying property in a new state will have on your estate plan. Each state has its own special rules regarding estate planning, so you must ensure that your plan is amenable to whatever state you live in or own property in.