Congratulations if you already have an estate plan in place. Not enough people understand how such a plan protects their family and assets in life and death.
If you have not created a plan or failed to review yours for a long while, now is your chance to make sure it remains effective in all situations. Even a simple mistake could interfere with your final wishes and increase your family’s hardships. Let’s look at two common mistakes and their potential effect.
Not syncing beneficiary designations
You probably have one or more retirement and financial accounts in your portfolio. Do you know if their beneficiaries are the same as those in your will? If the designations differ from those in your will, it could compromise your wishes.
In most situations, the beneficiary designations in individual accounts supersede those outlined in a will. That means if you update your beneficiary designations, you need to do it on the accounts themselves.
Not giving anyone access to your plan
Does a family member or someone close to you know where to find your estate plan? Access to your advance health care directive and powers of attorney is critical if an illness or injury leads to incapacitation. Your representatives cannot make decisions on your behalf in a sudden emergency without written authorization.
Make sure to let someone you trust know where to find your estate planning documents in case something happens to you without warning. Address this issue each time you review your plan to ensure the prompt retrieval of your directives on short notice.
Legal guidance and knowledge of New York estate planning can help ensure that you make no mistakes that would impact your wishes. You will rest easier knowing your plan is as sound and airtight as possible.