How can I avoid common estate planning mistakes?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2019 | Uncategorized |

While estate planning is a must for all people in Milwaukee, it’s equally important to ensure your plan is valid and legally binding. Even a minor error can result in complications and may even result in your estate being sent to probate court. To ensure you have the right information, U.S. News & World Report offers the following tips.

Review estate plane once a year

Even a good estate plan may fall out of favor over time. As a result, it’s recommended that you go over your estate plan at least once a year to make certain it still reflects your wishes. You can also revisit your plan after any major life changes, such as a divorce, new marriage, or the birth of a new child. Wills and trusts are intended to be fluid documents and it’s important that you make changes as necessary to keep them up-to-date.

Make sure beneficiary designations are updated

With life insurance policies and retirement accounts, beneficiary designations are a crucial consideration. This dictates who receive the proceeds of these accounts and they must be accurately filled out to ensure your wishes are met. Even if you include language in your will regarding who is to receive these proceeds, it will only be considered legally binding if the beneficiary designations match.

Ensure your trust is properly funded

A trust is an essential estate planning tool, but it’s only effective if it’s created correctly. This entails properly funding a trust, which means changing deeds and titles to reflect the new ownership. If this step is not taken assets will not actually be placed in the trust. Instead, it will be up to the court to decide how these assets are dispersed, and it’s likely that this process will diverge from the wishes of the estate holder. If you’re unsure how to fund your trust, consult with an estate attorney for assistance.