The biggest issue with estate plans is that they’re often forgotten. You have spent the time and money creating your estate plan, but how often do you check on it and make sure it’s still applicable? Overlooking routine maintenance to your estate plan can cost you dearly in the end. In addition, an inaccurate or incomplete estate plan is just as harmful as an outdated one.
Controlling Your Assets
An estate plan ensures you have control over your assets while you’re alive. This can also apply if you become mentally or physically incapable of managing your own estate. Even though you can’t manage it, your estate is still owned by you and managed by a proxy who will operate on your behalf. Without an estate plan that designates a guardian, your estate goes to the courts and they are responsible for designating a guardian for your estate and your own healthcare.
Controlling after Death
An updated, accurate estate plan can control your assets even when you’re no longer around to do so yourself. Your estate plan can ensure your assets go to beneficiaries you actually want to receive an inheritance. When your estate plan is outdated, it doesn’t have accurate beneficiaries, or is incomplete, the state determines who inherits what and how much.
Lastly, when you have an estate plan you can control how much money your estate pays to settle. This can include probate court costs (and associated fees), taxes and creditors. Without an estate plan, your assets could be auctioned to pay for debts.