Estate planning is no easy task. There’s a lot of time and energy put into each plan. Every estate plan is unique, but unfortunately, the same mistakes occur. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these three classic mistakes are avoidable if you plan carefully.
- Not updating asset ownership. Assets may be in your name, in a joint title, adult child, or someone else. But, something may have changed that makes different ownership better. Since the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made some major changes to income and estate taxes, now is a great time to review your plans. Parts of your plan may have become obsolete or add unneeded costs and/or complexity.
- Outdated beneficiary designations. This one can be very tricky. Remember, what your will says doesn’t affect who inherits certain assets. These assets have separate beneficiary designation forms; including retirement accounts, annuities, and life insurance. Be sure to review and update these designations every few years (or after a major life change).
- Not coordinating trusts and retirement plans. Thanks to IRS regulations, naming the wrong trust as an IRA beneficiary can increase taxes. With that said, be sure all trusts you name as beneficiaries qualify and meet your goals. Alternatively, you can name individuals – not trusts – as beneficiaries.[i]
We know how puzzling estate planning can be. We’re here to listen and help you along the way. Be sure to call us and we can guide you to a mistake-free estate plan.
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