An estate plan involves many different parts, such as advanced medical directives, establishing power of attorney, creating a will and more.
Due to the many moving parts, it is easy to accidentally overlook certain aspects of an estate plan. What sort of oversights are the most common?
Name your beneficiaries
Kiplinger discusses some signs that could indicate an estate plan has more weak spots than a person may think. First: look at beneficiary designations.
Most people do not name beneficiaries on things like insurance policies or retirement accounts. You may want to fix this and name a loved one as the direct beneficiary of these assets. This allows these assets to go directly to the beneficiary, rather than getting added to an estate and having to go through probate.
Be specific in who gets what
Next, name people to receive items. If the statements in a will read in too much of a generalized, unspecific way, it opens the door to conflicts. Instead of stating that you will leave everything to your children, instead specify who gets what. You can even talk to your children while alive to see who may want what.
Review your estate plan
Finally, be sure to always check your estate plan after you move. Each state has its own laws dictating how matters of the estate end up governed. What counted as a passable will in one state may not fit the law in others.
Along those lines, be sure to review your estate plan somewhat frequently. A check every 3 to 5 years could go a long way in refreshing your memory and ensuring everything is up to date.