An estate plan not only protects your assets. It can also spare your family a great burden after you are gone. Accordingly, all people should have estate plans in place, regardless of age or level of wealth.
According to Kiplinger, you must also take steps to avoid common estate planning mistakes. By doing the following, you can rest assured of the desired outcome for your family and assets.
Leaving a minor an inheritance without establishing guardianship
Money left to minor children must also include guardianship plans. Additionally, you must also set strict rules on how the guardian can use funds allocated to your minor child. This prevents unauthorized purchases and abuse of inheritances meant to support your child well into adulthood.
Not naming beneficiaries
Retirement accounts and life insurance policies require you to name beneficiaries. This information overrides anything contained within your will. By naming beneficiaries, the proceeds of accounts and policies pass directly to the heir. This makes for a speedier, more efficient inheritance process for your family.
Not using a trust when applicable
When providing funds to heirs, trusts provide greater control over the way you disperse assets. For example, you can stagger an inheritance over the course of years, which prevents a young heir from receiving a lump sum of money. Trusts are ideal for people with more complex estate planning needs thanks to the greater control they provide as compared to wills.
You should also review your will as your life and situation change. New marriages, divorce, the birth of a child, or even moving to a different state all warrant a review of your estate planning documents, so you can make the proper changes.