Estate planning and the probate process can seem like mysteries to Ohio residents. Millions of people in our country never even take the first steps toward making an estate plan, so those who do are likely to be in a better position than many others. However, just having an estate plan in place isn’t enough—the plan needs to be done correctly. Avoiding mistakes in the estate planning process is crucial.
Avoid these mistakes
A recent news article mentioned several mistakes that people commonly make when they are going through the estate planning process. For example, be sure to examine your beneficiary designation on certain types of accounts, like retirement or investment accounts. These types of accounts can often accumulate significant balances, which means that when they are paid out to a certain designated beneficiary, the financial effect may be more than what was intended under the terms of your will.
Another mistake is the failure to update an estate plan when major life events occur. If you have a child or if you get divorced, for example, these are the types of life events that should trigger a review and update of your estate plan.
Yet another mistake to avoid is the failure to communicate with heirs and beneficiaries about what you intend to accomplish with your estate plan. The people who stand to benefit from the transfer of your assets should be clear about who gets what. Failure to communicate clearly can, ultimately, be a major reason for probate litigation to occur.