There are two mistakes that people often make with estate planning. The first is that they do their planning and then forget about it, assuming they are set forever. The second is that they don’t do it at all because they can’t figure out every last detail, like what assets should go to their children or who to pick as the executor.
In both cases, there is one key thing to remember: Estate planning changes. It’s flexible. It’s an ongoing process that may require multiple discussions with your family.
Creating your estate plan feels very firm and final. The reality, though, is that you may have years or even decades before your family has to use it. Many things in life can change from the day you file those documents to the day that your family uses the plan. You could:
- Gain many new assets
- Sell assets that you own
- Start or sell a new business
- Get divorced
- Get married
- Gain new in-laws or grandchildren
- Retire from your career
- Need medical care
These are just a few examples, but they can all have a drastic impact on your estate plan. You need to stay flexible and be open to making changes. At the same time, as you draft your plan, don’t stress out about it too much. You can always make alterations in the future if you change your mind. Nothing is written in stone.
Having an estate plan is very important. Make sure that you know what legal steps to take to set yours up or make the necessary changes to an existing plan.