If you already have an estate plan, you know how essential it is. You have spent a lot of time considering your end-of-life goals and have peace of mind knowing there is a strategy in place. Unfortunately, when reviewing existing estate plans with new clients, we often find that their current plan has critical gaps that were not in line with their intended outcome. How does this happen?
If you have an existing plan, here are the top 3 most overlooked mistakes we commonly see in existing estate plans:
Funding: Many people are unaware that only assets in a trust are considered trust property. Unfortunately, people forget or are unaware that you need to go the extra step to transfer property to the trust to avoid probate—one of the main reasons people get an estate plan in the first place! Did you purchase stocks, cryptocurrency, cars, boats, or property and fail to transfer it to your trust? All of those assets will be subject to probate.
Incomplete: We often see estate plans with just a trust, a will on its own, or a trust with a power of attorney. While their intentions are good, these documents alone will often result in significant gaps and can lead to unintended distributions.
Failing to Review Annually: We understand that circumstances often change and that an estate plan without any alterations from a few years back will likely need revisions. Reviewing your estate plan annually with an attorney will ensure your plan remains current and is in line with your intended outcome.