When you pass away, your loved ones will have a lot to deal with. They certainly don't need to have to deal with difficulties related to your estate. The fact of the matter is that these mistakes can be costly and time-consuming, which aren't what you want your loved ones to have to deal with while they mourn your loss.
There are specific mistakes that can make your estate plan a headache for your loved ones. Make sure that you avoid these mistakes so that your loved ones can handle your estate quickly and they can work through the grief of losing you.
#1: Not creating or updating your estate plan
The biggest mistake you can make is not making an estate plan at all. This would mean that you die intestate, which leads to the state having to step in to decide who gets what. This is done by using a specific list of familial relations to make the decisions.
If you have your estate plan created, make sure you keep it updated. This is especially important if you have major life changes, such as a divorce or a birth of a new child. You don't want a child left out of the will and you certainly don't want an ex-spouse getting your assets.
#2: Forgetting to include power of attorney designations
The power of attorney designations provide chosen people with the right to make choices for you if you can't make those on your own. You can choose someone to make choices about your health care and someone to ensure your personal finances are taken care of. Make sure you select people you trust and who will follow your instructions.
#3: Not choosing the right person to handle your affairs
When you pass away, someone will have to take over your estate. While it might be tempting to choose a spouse or other family member, this might not be a good idea. You need to choose someone you trust and who will be able to handle the responsibility of the duties. Even a person who normally could handle these might not be able to do so if they are mourning your loss.
#4: Forgetting to check on beneficiary designations
Your will won't cover all of your assets. If an asset has a beneficiary designation or a payable on death designation, you need to make sure that those are accurate each time you update your will. Investment accounts, bank accounts, and life insurance policies are three areas to which these designations usually apply.
#5: Not considering taxes
Some estates come with tax considerations. If you think that there are tax issues that need to be factored into your estate plan, now is the time to find out how to address them. You don't want your family members to have to walk away with little to nothing after handling your tax matters.