Sure, there are more than three common estate planning mistakes. But we thought we’d highlight three of them in this week’s blog.
1.Your plan does not match your needs: Why do we see clients with relatively simple needs come to us with large revocable living trusts? Or clients with a $10 Million estate come to us without even an updated will? Your plan needs to be aligned with your current needs, as well as your hopes, desires and fears for the present and future. Only a consultation with a qualified estate planning attorney can help you determine what the correct tools are for your estate plan.
2.Failing to protect your IRA and large assets that fall outside of a will: So, you’ve set up a carefully drafted will that has testamentary trusts for assets passing to your children. But you also have a large IRA that doesn’t pass through your will. Instead, you filled out a beneficiary designation form for that IRA, and it will pass directly to your heirs. This exposes a large asset to divorce settlements, bankruptcy, spendthrift children, lawsuits, etc. In addition to your will, you should consider an IRA inheritance trust to protect against these common issues.
3.Failing to review and update your plan regularly: A plan written today is based on the facts and circumstances today. Over time, those facts change—new family members come into our lives, and others depart. Our relationships change with our family. We may see new conflicts develop. We may have significantly more or less assets as time goes on. All of these changes in circumstances require you to regularly review and possibly update your plan. Our standard for review is at least every three years, and upon any major changes or developments in your family.
Does your plan need a fresh look? Please call us for a complimentary consultation today at (215) 706-0200.