There is a common misconception that your estate plan is complete after drafting either a will or a trust and a durable and health care power of attorney. However, there are a few mistakes that can undermine even the best estate plan.
- Putting children’s names on accounts or real estate. Adding children’s names to bank accounts, deeds or other assets is often the surest way to create problems after your death. It is much better to transfer these assets after your death than to share them during your lifetime.
- Incorrectly naming beneficiaries. A good estate plan must consider assets that require a beneficiary designation such as life insurance, IRA and 401K. Failure to name a primary and secondary beneficiary can undermine even the most well drafted estate plan.
- Failure to periodically review your estate plan. An estate plan should be reviewed every 3-5 years to ensure that it complies with current law and still reflects your wishes. An estate plan should also be reviewed after a life changing event.