Attorney and client, discussing estate plan

When to Update Your Advance Directives

Estate planning provides important protections for yourself, your loved ones, and your goals for the future. It would be difficult to understate the importance of estate planning. It can have profound and far-reaching implications for you and your loved ones. As such, it is a process that not only should be done, but should be done the right way. While the estate planning process and an estate plan itself will likely look different for everyone, there are certain estate planning pitfalls that are very common, but should be avoided.

Estate Planning Pitfalls You Can (and Should) Avoid

Many people may operate under the mistaken assumption that setting up an estate plan is a one meeting event. You sit down, created an estate plan, sign the necessary documents, and you are done, right? This is often not the case. Estate planning is usually a multistep process that requires follow-through in order to be effective. For instance, a trust can be established, but it needs to be funded to be effective. This means you will establish the trust and then need to transfer ownership of assets into the trust’s name. Estate planning follow-through will also often involved making sure you have beneficiaries listed on life insurance policies and retirement accounts. It may also involve designating certain financial accounts as payable on death. The fact of the matter is that estate planning is a broader process than most people realize. Avoid the mistake of not following up on the follow-through steps.

Speaking of trusts, another common and avoidable estate planning pitfall is not learning more about your estate planning options. There are many estate planning tools, trusts included that not many people know about. These are tools that can help you meet and further your goals for the future. There are benefits to estate planning tools that may fit your needs perfectly. With so many people thinking estate planning is just about setting up a will, it is important to look into other options that may best serve you and your goals.

The last estate planning pitfall we will discuss here is failing to update your estate plan. Once an estate plan is established, it should not be the end of the estate planning journey. After all, we all change over time as do our families and our goals. It is likely that these changes will merit making updates to your estate planning documents accordingly. You should schedule times to periodically review your estate plan to make sure it is up to date in your wishes, your beneficiaries and positions of trust, and the assets you want to protect and provide for.

Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney

Talk to the Unique Estate Law team about putting an estate plan in place that you can count on. Contact us today. From within Hennepin County Unique Estate Law represents clients throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Chanhassen, and Excelsior.