No matter the size of your estate, it’s important to think through every detail to prevent fighting among heirs and to help answer difficult questions about your trust after you’ve passed. Proper planning is the first step, along with avoiding these common mistakes.
1. Giving an adult child control of your bank account may seem like a good idea, but it may jeopardize your chance at qualifying for government benefits, and the child may keep the entire amount after you’ve passed, rather than distributing it.
2. Leaving your home equally to your children may be well-intended, but it can still lead to complications and disagreements among siblings that can be prevented.
3. Naming your eldest child as Trustee because of their age is not recommended. It should be based on who is best fit for the task.
4. Not having an Advance Health-Care Directive places the tough choice on your family, so it’s important to include your choices in end-of-life situations in your plan.
5. Not stating who determines if you are no longer able to control your affairs can cause disagreement among relatives.
6. Not telling children why you left them unequal shares may result in jealousy and resentment among them, so it’s important to include an explanation.
7. Assuming that personal items will be divided peacefully, with no clear instructions, can cause fighting, so be sure to be detailed in your plan to prevent these disagreements.8. Calculating your children’s inheritance without including past gifts in the equation may cause siblings to compare the lifetime financial assistance they’ve received from you and lead to jealousy among each other.
8. Calculating your children’s inheritance without including past gifts in the equation may cause siblings to compare the lifetime financial assistance they’ve received from you and lead to jealousy among each other.
9. Forgetting to move assets into your Trust may cause it to end up in court or with unintended people.
10. Not updating and reviewing your estate plan on a regular basis may leave your family with taxes, court proceedings or unintended beneficiaries.
Contact us for a complimentary estate plan assessment at 942-8778.