No one can deny the importance of creating a will, but sidestepping estate planning mistakes proves equally essential. When was the last time you checked your plan for mistakes?
Fidelity explores estate planning pitfalls to avoid. Learn where you may want to change your plan ASAP.
Irresponsible adult children
Where before you listed a guardian for your young children in your will, you may now need to appoint a “financial guardian” for your adult children. You may not trust one of your financially irresponsible adult children with a large inheritance. Or, you may worry about the inheritance you want to leave one of your married children becoming marital property, which could prove disastrous in a divorce. You may also want to leave one child less inheritance if she or he earns substantially more than another sibling.
Poor choice of executor
Do you feel that your will’s current executor can still do the job? Time changes people, and the designated executor you deemed trustworthy years ago may no longer be a person whom you have a lot of faith in. Your executor could be too old to carry out his or her necessary duties. Think about whether your executor is a sensible choice or if you need to name someone else.
Locked medical records
To make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated, your health care power of attorney needs your medical records. In its current state, your will may not allow your power of attorney access to your records under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Double-check whether you give the right people access to the information necessary to make well-informed medical decisions for you.
A yearly will review helps ensure that you did not make an avoidable blunder. Help your beneficiaries and yourself to peace of mind.