Many estate owners in Florida choose to leave property to their loved ones through a will or a trust. While these are effective ways to pass on assets, there are several common estate planning mistakes that individuals should avoid.
One common error is failing to fully account for all assets. It’s important to keep records such as mortgage documents, deeds and insurance information in a safe place and inform a trusted individual about their location. Many important documents are now available in a digital format. Therefore, it’s also a good idea to make a master list of all usernames and passwords for any online accounts and store them in a safety deposit box.
Another common estate planning mistake is failing to notify third parties such as retirement account administrators about beneficiaries named in a will. If a beneficiary is named in a will but is not designated as a beneficiary on an insurance policy or savings account, transferring money to the beneficiary can become a hassle.
Many people also forget to update their estate plans when changes are necessary. After a divorce or other significant life change, it’s a good idea to make sure any estate planning documents are updated. Periodically reviewing a will to make sure that no changes are needed can ensure that assets are not left to an ex-spouse after remarriage.
An estate planning attorney may be able to help a client avoid situations that will likely create legal problems later on. For example, legal counsel could set up a trust so that beneficiaries can save time and money by avoiding probate court.