Tips for Having an Effective Estate Plan

An estate plan can be one of the most important documents for ensuring that there is a smooth transition for your family following your passing. Unfortunately, estate planning can be a process that is complicated enough to make it hard for people to effectively do without making some mistakes that could hamper the protection this document provides.

Make Sure to Take an Active Role in Creating and Understanding the Estate Plan

It can be intimidating and unpleasant to make an estate plan, which might cause some people to take a very hands-off approach to this process. While your estate planning professional will be able to handle the details of creating this document, it is still beneficial for you to be highly informed about the contents of this document. This is especially important for individuals that have particularly extensive estate planning needs or complicated finances. While your estate planner will give you a chance to ask any questions at the end of the process, it can be more advisable to make it a point to ask questions and seek clarity as the process progresses. Otherwise, you may forget some key questions that you were wanting to ask before signing the estate plan.

Avoid Going Too Long Without Updating the Plan

An estate plan is one of the legal documents that individuals should regularly be reviewing so that they can make any needed changes. Sadly, some people often fail to appreciate the need to include both major and minor changes in the estate plan. Otherwise, there could be assets that may not be included in this plan, which could make the process of resolving the inheritance of these items more likely to be a source of conflict among your survivors.  As a rule of thumb, it can be advisable for individuals that have an estate plan to invest in updating it at least every other year, but this should be more frequent if you are acquiring or selling major assets.

Attempt to Always Use the Same Estate Planner

When updating an estate plan, a person may be tempted to simply use any estate planning service. However, there are benefits to using the same estate planner for updating as well. This professional will have a detailed understanding of this document, and this may allow them to be more thorough and efficient when they are updating this document. It may not always be possible to use the same professional for this work, If you must use a different estate planner for updating it, you should plan on taking several days longer. This time is needed for these individuals to review the estate plan so that any needed changes can be made.

For more information, contact local estate planning services.