Many people struggle with their estate plans. They may wait too long to start them and have trouble remembering all their assets, or they may find they haven’t updated it regularly enough and have many changes to make at once.
If you are growing older, and all of us are, then there are plenty of reasons to have an estate plan. Once you have one, you need to make sure you don’t make mistakes. Here are three common issues you could have with your estate.
1. Not updating your will
Your will should be updated regularly. Examples of when you should update your will include when there are major life events, like births, marriages or deaths. At the very least, attempt to update the will biannually, even if you just review and confirm that it’s still accurate.
2. Forgetting to protect your wealth with gifting
If your estate is large enough to be taxed, one good idea is to start giving away gifts to your relatives and loved ones. You can give gifts of up to $14,000 each year. You’ll save on taxes, since these gifts aren’t taxed and your estate won’t be for that amount, either.
3. Not planning for death
Finally, the worst thing you can do is to completely avoid estate planning. Everyone needs to set up an estate plan, just to establish that they want to protect their assets and dictate who receives them. If you have no will or estate plan, the state laws take precedent and may distribute your assets in ways you would be unhappy with.
Remember, your estate plan is there to protect you and your loved ones’ inheritances. A good plan makes a difference.