Regardless of age or social status, it is highly encouraged that everyone have an estate plan in place. These plans not only serve to make sure that a person’s assets are distributed according to their wishes in the event of their incapacitation or death, but they also leave a written, legally binding record of how they want their health care to be handled in the event they can’t verbalize those wishes. However, there are some estate planning blunders that occur, which citizens in Livonia, Michigan need to avoid.
Some assets come with their own beneficiary designation forms, which means that a simple written will may not be sufficient when dealing with these items. Retirement accounts, life insurance accounts, and annuities all fall under the classification of requiring such forms.
It is crucial to ensure that these forms are regularly updated in order to prevent these assets from going to someone who is no longer living, or someone the testator no longer wants to leave anything to, such as an ex-spouse. During every major change in a family, and once every year or two, these forms should be reviewed.
Updating Power of Attorney
Every estate plan should contain two power of attorney forms; one for finances and one for medical care. If an individual fills out these forms early in life, they may have parents of a sibling listed as power of attorney. Should that person get married, they probably want to transition that power to their spouse, but failure to update these forms can create a headache for any loved ones involved.
Understand the Plan
Sadly, many people blindly trust an estate planner without ever fully understanding what they’re signing. It is vital that the person whose estate is being planned have an intricate knowledge of what their estate plan contains.
A trusted attorney can help guide their client through the estate planning process, helping them understand and fill out any needed forms and updating them as time goes by. This attorney can also serve as the legal representative of the estate planner in the event of his or her death or incapacitation.