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Avoid these two common estate planning errors

One of the things people traditionally do at the end of the year is look back and assess the past 12 months and then look forward and plan for the coming dozen. One of the crucial tasks millions of Americans neglected to take care of in 2018 was to create a will. That omission is one of two widespread estate planning errors, Forbes says.

“The other error is to fail to update the will and estate plan,” the publication notes. With the end of the year rapidly approaching, this is the perfect time to create a will (and other elements of an estate plan) or to review and revise the documents you and your attorney put together three years ago or more.

Forbes says there is no set time for an estate plan review, but it does state that certain life events should trigger a review. For instance, if you recently relocated to Florida, it makes sense to sit down with an experienced estate planning lawyer to see how your new home’s laws might affect how you will pass your assets on to beneficiaries.

Florida’s laws regarding other elements of your plan might well vary from your previous home. It’s good to have an attorney review your current plan’s documents to determine how you can minimize any negative repercussions of your move and maximize the positives. Items deserving of close attention include power of attorney (and health care power of attorney), a living will, an advanced medical directive, an irrevocable trust (and irrevocable life insurance trust) and more.

Of course, if you have gotten divorced or married, you should also review and very possibly revise your plan to ensure that your estate wishes are carried out.

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