Estate planning is a financial topic that many individuals oftentimes overlook; however, it is one of the most important components of a solid financial plan. We know that estate planning is not the most joyful conversation topic and it is typically avoided due to its morbidity, but if you are reading this, we want you to take this opportunity to revisit your estate plan and avoid these common mistakes.
The most common mistake you can make around estate planning and your will, is NOT having one. Everyone knows they should have a will, but many either think they are too young for it to make sense or think they do not have enough assets to need one. However, this misconception has been proved wrong time and time again. In fact, we recorded a podcast episode with Head of Trusts and Estates Practice, Adam Moskowitz on why it’s never too early to establish a will, medical directive, and power of attorney. Many also believe that they only need a will, and forget about their power of attorney and medical directive, that plays a crucial role in your wishes should anything happen to you.
Another common mistake we see is not updating your will as your life becomes more complicated. Whether it’s a new house, more children, marriage, or complexities within your familial situation, updating your will as your life becomes more complex is extremely important. Making regular updates to not only your will, but also the beneficiaries on your retirement and other investment accounts is a great way to make sure you remain protected as your life goes on. Make sure that when you make changes to your will or living trust, that you are reflecting and updating those changes on your beneficiary designations as well.
Depending on your financial and life situation, creating a will, medical directive, and power of attorney can include many moving parts, which is why we encourage you to at least speak with a professional who can help guide you through it or in the right direction. Another common error many individuals make when it comes to their will is losing their original copy, so make sure you are holding onto your original copy somewhere safe.
As you can tell from above, drafting a will, medical directive and power of attorney is a crucial player in your financial plan. Not only do you want to protect yourself should anything happen to you, but you also want to think about your heirs and make sure that they are taken care of as you wish. If you have any questions for us regarding your need for a new or updated estate plan, let us know and we are happy to set up a conversation to head you in the right direction. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.