Creating an estate plan is essential, you already know that. But, there are times when individuals make errors that can impact their estate and their loved ones. Before you consider yourself “settled”, make sure you haven’t committed these crucial errors.
1. Procrastination – Too many people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. Whether they put off creating one in general or they put off maintaining it, all equal trouble down the road. Stay on top of your estate plan and if you don’t have one, visit an estate planning attorney to get one.
2. Guardian Selections – When you select a guardian, you may have not taken the time to consider your selection. Perhaps you’re no longer friends with the guardian you selected or they’ve moved to another state and you’d prefer a guardian in your current area. Review your estate plan and make sure your guardian designations still apply.
3. Altering Beneficiaries – When you sign up for a 401(k) or IRA, you are prompted to select a beneficiary. When you create an estate plan, you’re also prompted to select beneficiaries. If the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts don’t match your estate plan, your accounts win. That means your spouse or children may not receive your retirement benefits. So, make sure your beneficiaries match up.
4. Your Healthcare Proxy Doesn’t Agree with Your Decisions – When you create a healthcare directive, you select a proxy. This person makes medical decisions on your behalf, but if they don’t agree with your decisions, they may not carry them out. Make sure the healthcare proxy you have selected agrees with your medical decisions and will follow them.
5. Inadequate Life Insurance – Most people have inadequate life insurance to cover their expenses. Take a look at your policy and consider increasing your coverage — especially if you signed up when you were single.