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What mistakes to avoid when creating an estate plan

On Behalf of | May 23, 2023 | Firm News

One of the great features that estate planning has is opportunity. Those who go from politely discussing their legacy to actually having to write it down may be overwhelmed by how much work is required.  Having an estate plan that is tailor-made to you presents an exciting opportunity, though the strength of that opportunity can vary.

What we mean by that is that as powerful as an estate plan has the potential to be, not everyone’s estate plan will meet that potential. This could be because of an innocent assumption that you made or because you were following the advice of a friend or relative who doesn’t actually really know what they are talking about. The two subjects that we’ll reference in this blog are the issues with an out-of-date will as well as a more interpersonal issue.

A will that isn’t up to date

Now “up to date” carries a couple of meanings. This could mean that the beneficiaries listed are no longer in your favor or in your life (ie: divorce), or it could mean that the terms of the estate plan go against Rhode Island laws. There’s a chance that someone reading this blog will have a false sense of confidence, proud that they completed their estate plan years and years ago. While, yes, being ahead of the curve in creating an estate plan is generally a positive development, there’s a chance that the fine print breaks a rule, throwing that aspect of an estate plan into question and causing a lot of headaches and disappointments.

Not keeping everyone in the loop

The temptation to err towards privacy with an estate plan can be understandable in a certain regard. You’ll be delving into the financial bric-a-brac of your past and how it’ll inform your future after you’re gone. It’s a vulnerable endeavor. However, being open about the details can provide for a smoother experience. Not only because the estate planning process can be stressful to think about for your next of kin, but because if they have certain expectations, it could cause a lot of unneeded drama during the probate process.

There can be a lot of facets in an estate plan, and with can inspire an equal sense of excitement for the possibilities as well as stress for the sheer work involved. Rhode Island residents can benefit from seeking support from professionals who are up to date in their knowledge of estate planning. This can help prevent issues from arising in the future.