Common Mistakes to Avoid When Estate Planning in New Jersey
Putting together your estate plan is one of the most important things you will do in your life. The documents that go into an estate plan are legally binding, can be changed when you need to change them, and should be reviewed often to make sure they are up-to-date with your current needs in life. If you are putting together an estate plan, or updating one, consult with your estate planning attorney in New Jersey to make sure you avoid these common mistakes.
Keeping Outdated Beneficiary Designations
One of the worst mistakes you can make when creating an estate plan or updating one is keeping beneficiary designations that are outdated. Even though your will might have different beneficiaries listed, there are other assets that could go to the wrong people if you do not change the designations. Most assets have forms you complete that name the beneficiaries. Review these forms periodically to make sure the beneficiaries listed are still the ones who should receive the assets upon your death.
Not Funding Any Revocable Trusts
Most estate plans include revocable trusts. These trusts help avoid taxes and have other financial benefits. A big mistake many people make when estate planning is creating a revocable trust but then failing to fund said trust. Funds do not just appear in a trust. The assets must be turned over to the trust, which then becomes the owner of those assets.
Failing to Update Your Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney are important people who handle your affairs when you no longer can do so because of one reason or another. You might have named a power of attorney 20 years ago when you created your estate plan. Is that person still alive today? Is that person someone you still talk to? If not, you need to update the power of attorney immediately. You do not want someone you do not trust making decisions for you when you are incapacitated.
Failing to Understand the Estate Plan
The estate plan can be a long, arduous document to read, but you should read it before signing it. Simply reading the estate plan will not suffice. You need to understand it as much as possible so you know what will happen to your assets upon your death. If you have questions, or simply do not understand the wording, you should have a New Jersey estate planning attorney clarify everything for you.
Failing to Make Necessary Changes
Your life will change one day to the next. Your life will change one decade to the next. The biggest changes in your life need to be reflected in your estate plan. Failing to update the estate plan when you have children, get divorced, inherit a large sum of money, have grandchildren or go through any other life event can cause a lot of problems down the road.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in new Jersey Today
Do you have questions about your estate plan? Do you need to create a new estate plan? Is it time to update your beneficiaries or trust? If so, you will want to speak to an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney. Call the office of Giro Law at (201) 690-1642 to schedule a consultation.