When you make plans for the future, you are protecting the interests of your loved ones and those who will be left behind after your passing. You can custom-tailor your estate plan to suit your needs and your objectives for your New York heirs and beneficiaries. However, certain estate planning mistakes can derail your efforts and cause issues for you and your loved ones.
Most people don’t realize there are issues with their estate plan until it is too late. Even small missteps can snowball into major complications that can make it difficult for you to get health care according to your preferences or for your loved ones to settle your estate. You have the right to control what happens to your property and assets, and avoiding mistakes in your plan is one way to do this.
Do this, not that
Estate planning is a life-long process. This means that you may need to revisit your plan from time to time to ensure that your needs are met. The following tips may help you avoid mistakes and take steps that will be beneficial for you and your loved ones:
- Create an estate plan; don’t assume you don’t need one because of your age or income.
- Update your plan after major life changes; don’t forget to update documents after a death, divorce, remarriage or birth of children.
- Don’t fail to plan for disability; take steps to plan and provide for medical contingencies.
- Don’t forget the potential tax consequences of your decisions; consider how your choices could impact your loved ones.
- Don’t transfer assets inappropriately; consider how to use certain estate planning tools to protect your money for a specific purpose.
Estate planning can be an emotional and potentially complicated process, but this is not a good reason to avoid it. You would be wise to make hard decisions now and have complex conversations with loved ones as well as fix any current problems with your existing estate plan.
The right plan for you
There is no cookie-cutter estate plan. The right approach for your needs depends on your objectives and goals for your future and your loved ones’ futures. A close look at your estate and your preferences can help you understand the ideal direction for your estate planning approach. It is also helpful to carefully review your documents to ensure you haven’t inadvertently committed potentially harmful mistakes.