Many Washington residents probably made New Year’s resolutions in recent weeks. And, for some, a resolution for 2024 might be to finally get their estate plan drafted and executed. That is a good goal to have – most people put off estate planning for far too long. But, now that you’re ready to get into the estate planning process, just be sure to get it right the first time and avoid common mistakes.
Dodging common mistakes
A recent news article described some of the most common mistakes that people make when they are thinking about their estate plans. The first mistake listed in the article is procrastination. As mentioned, many people wait for years – sometimes even until their senior years – before they even think about getting an estate plan together. But, as the recent article mentioned, it is not a good idea to wait around when it comes to estate planning. Get it done, and make sure you keep it updated.
Another common mistake mentioned in the recent article is the failure to inform loved ones of what, exactly, is in your estate plan. Some people are quite secretive when it comes to estate plans, but why? The loved ones you name in your estate plans are the ones who will benefit from receiving your assets, or they are the ones who will make financial or health decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Keep the relevant people informed of your wishes and plans.
Lastly, be sure to have a comprehensive estate plan – one that includes all of the important and necessary documents to cover most contingencies. It usually isn’t enough to just have a will. Have power of attorney documents drafted, consider the benefits of trusts, make sure you have beneficiaries named on life insurance policies – think of all the possible ways your estate might be impacted upon your death or if you should become incapacitated.