Regardless of your age or the number of assets in your name, you must have an estate plan in place. An estate plan protects your assets and your heirs after you are gone.
According to U.S. News & World Report, all adults should have an estate plan. Additionally, you must ensure your plan is free of common errors and oversights. Here are a few things to look out for.
Make sure your executor has the right experience
The executor of your will is responsible for many crucial tasks. They must locate all assets and properties, pay outstanding debt to creditors, pay taxes, and provide inheritances according to the terms of your will.
While many people choose loved ones, such as friends and family, consider whether your selection is really up for the task. It takes fiscal responsibility, organized thinking, and the awareness to consult with an attorney or accountant when the executor is out of their depth. The person you choose must have these qualities.
Have a frank discussion with your heirs
Deciding who gets what is a tricky process. Heirs often feel slighted if they perceive a sibling or other relative got something they felt entitled to. You can head off hurt feelings by communicating your reasoning to heirs as you develop your estate plan. That way, you can answer their questions and address their concerns.
Update your estate plan when necessary
Your estate plan is an extension of your life. As a result, you must update it for it to continue to meet your wishes. New marriages, divorce, the birth of a child, or even moving from one state to another all call for revisiting your plan. Remember, estate planning laws vary from state to state.
Most professional estate planners recommend revisiting documents every three to five years, regardless of life changes. Keep your estate planning documents and information on property and assets well-organized. Also, make sure your heirs know how to access these documents.