Mistakes You Want To Avoid When Passing Your Money On
If you’ve taken the time and put in the effort to build up some wealth in your life, planning for the future now puts you in control of your legacy. You can take steps now to help ensure your estate plan matches your wishes and ensures your legacy.
Writing a will is a crucial part of ensuring that you control where your money and assets go, but it’s not the end-all and be-all. Here, we’re going to look at some of the mistakes that can get in the way of what you want for your estate, and how you can avoid them.
Not knowing your state’s execution requirements
Writing a will is not all that it takes to ensure that it is carried out properly. Taking the time to craft a will can be a taxing task, so you want to make sure that your work is actually worth the effort by taking the time to check your state’s will execution requirements and make sure that you’re adhering to them. Otherwise, it’s not impossible that you might see the will getting thrown out in its entirety, and the state would decide who inherits what from you, instead.
Not taking steps to avoid probate
Probate is designed to help, but it can end up eating up more of your estate than you might think. As such, you might want to work with a wills attorney to help avoid probate, such as by using revocable living trusts and keeping assets in joint ownership. These are both methods of ensuring that ownership of certain assets is already starting to transfer to one person so that when it does come time to execute your will, it’s easier to pass the rest to them without having to lose too much.
Not planning for estate tax
Even beyond the grave, the taxman will have his due. You might not have to make annual payments any longer, but you do have to ensure that you’re accounting for estate taxes. Keep an eye on what these are, as they can change fairly regularly and, if you’re not careful, could eat into what you plan to bequeath more than you might think, which can significantly decrease the amount that you’re able to leave to your loved ones. There are ways to arrange your estate to get some leeway with taxes, however.
Not updating it regularly
All of the tips above can help ensure that your wealth goes where you want it, but you have to consider that your wants and plans are likely to change over the years, as is the nature of the assets that you’re trying to bequeath. As such, you should take the opportunity to look over your will once a year at least, just to make sure that it’s accounting for any changes in your life or in your estate, and make sure that it’s as accurate and true to your intentions as can be.
Avoid making the mistakes above by getting the experts involved in the crafting of your will and estate plans from an early stage. Your family’s future could depend on it.
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?