As we quickly approach 2017, it is an excellent opportunity to review your existing estate planning documents and determine if you have fallen short. Unfortunately, far too many people make simple mistakes that can end up turning into big problems down the road if they are not careful.
These simple mistakes often catch family members by surprise when a loved one unexpectedly passes away. This is because it is usually the family members dealing with the management of estate planning documents or probate in Massachusetts.
What follows are some of the most common mistakes made in the estate planning realm. These include:
- Wrongly titled or untitled assets. If you do choose to use a trust, you should follow through by having all assets titled in the name of the trust, otherwise your assets will actually be disposed of by your will.
- Leaving assets directly to beneficiaries. The inheritance that you intended to pass on to a beneficiary could be subject to an attack from a divorcing spouse, a creditor or other lawsuits. Make sure that you carefully consider other opportunities for shielding that asset.
- Not keeping your end-of-life planning or medical care planning up to date. Your desires regarding your medical care should always be clearly articulated on a regular basis including your living will and your healthcare documents. Setting up a meeting with an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you accomplish these goals.