Unfortunately, far too many people believe that estate planning begins and ends with a simple will but this can be a catastrophic mistake as wills are exposed to potential mistakes as well.
This is particularly true if you attempt to engage in estate planning process on your own without consulting directly with an attorney. What follows are four key steps to consider for your estate plan:
- Learn the local laws as well as the real estate and probate rules in your individual state. If you own property in multiple states it is even more important to have an experienced attorney representing you and helping you put together your estate plan.
- Never put a piece of property into a child’s name while you’re still alive without consulting with an attorney about the right strategy to do this. If the child eventually goes bankrupt, creditors may be eligible to seize the house.
- Be careful of transferring bank accounts to children in order to avoid estate and probate taxes. With individuals living longer, this could leave will writers destitute in their retirement years.
- Ensure that your beneficiary information is always updated and your wills are updated on a regular basis by scheduling consultation with an attorney every single year to discuss whether or not your estate plans are still meeting your individual needs.
Following these four steps could help to minimize the chances of disputes and potential problems later in life.
When it comes to approaching your estate planning, having a lawyer you can count on is critical. Knowing that you have someone who can help you as your needs change over the course of your life. A Massachusetts estate planning lawyer may be very helpful for your planning process.