Your legal and financial plans for the future allow you to do much more than simply decide what will happen to your property after you pass. Through diligent planning, you can create a legacy that will provide for your loved ones long after you are gone, and you can accomplish other specific estate planning goals as well. The success of your plans depends on thoughtful and careful consideration of everything from estate taxes to the ages of your beneficiaries.
Whether you already have an estate plan or need to create one from scratch, it is critical to focus on what will be best long term. Ensuring a successful plan means avoiding common mistakes and making decisions based on practical guidance instead of your emotions. When you have the right plans in place, you can look to the future with confidence.
What makes a plan successful?
Many people make simple and unnoticed mistakes in their estate plans, and these missteps may not be evident until it is time to settle the estate or initiate certain plans. The overall success of your plans before and after your passing may depend on the following factors:
- Talk to your family about your plans and educate them regarding your wishes. This is important even if you have carefully laid plans and documents.
- Anticipate where family conflict could occur and take steps to avoid it through your planning strategy.
- Plan how you want to leave your assets to your heirs and consider the potential tax consequences of these decisions.
- Know your plan backwards and forwards and make updates and changes when life circumstances merit adjustments.
- Consider how a trust could provide you with both flexibility and security regarding the protection of certain assets.
- If you are a business owner, have a clear succession plan in place in case of your incapacitation or death.
- Organize your documents, and make sure they are easy to find in the event your family needs to access them quickly.
Your heirs and beneficiaries are depending on the success of your estate plan. If you are unsure how you can accomplish your goals or want to ensure that you have the full amount of protection you need, you may benefit from an assessment of your existing plans and objectives for your long-term financial interests. Diligent, careful planning can benefit you and your entire family for years to come.