Only Having a Will
A Will is an important first step in estate planning, but for most people, it is just the beginning. Wills are great tools for accomplishing certain things, but when it comes to transferring your assets to loved ones, or controlling what will happen to them after you’re gone, they really aren’t the right option. Most estate plans should have a will that will work along with one or more types of trusts, and possibly other instruments, to get you the best results.
Allowing Your Estate Plan to Go Untouched for Years
Estate planning is not a ‘set and forget’ type of thing. Once you have your estate plan in place, you will want to come back and revisit it at least once per year to ensure everything is still how you want it. Annual ‘checkups’ are a great way to ensure you aren’t missing anything, and that you are keeping up with the latest laws and regulations surrounding estate planning.
Neglecting to Properly Name Beneficiaries
When you set up your estate plan, you will name the beneficiaries who will receive different things. This will also be done for things like insurance policies, retirement plans, and more. If you only name one beneficiary, and no alternates, however, it can be a problem if that person passes away before you, or even at the same time. Having multiple alternate beneficiaries can help ensure your assets go where you want them. Also, make sure to update both your primary and alternate beneficiaries as needed to avoid unnecessary complications.
Failing to Plan for Long-Term Care
A significant percentage of people will require long-term care at some point in their life. Whether this is a temporary nursing home while recovering from a procedure, or moving into a long-term care facility for the rest of one’s life, this can be a very costly experience. If you don’t plan for how this will be paid for, it can burn through a very significant amount of money, which will dramatically reduce what you have to leave to your loved ones.
Trying to Handle It On Your Own
There are plenty of ‘do it yourself’ style estate plans available online today, and it can be tempting to use one of those. The reality is, however, they simply aren’t a substitution for going over your unique situation with professional in this area. Do it yourself plans produce ‘one size fits all’ solutions, which aren’t nearly as effective as they should be. Contact Vanessa Vasquez to sit down with an estate planning professional and get everything in order right away.