The hard work of putting together your estate plan does not end once you have finished your will, your trust, or your power of attorney documents. Estate plans can go off the rails because you do not implement them correctly. Fortunately, you have a good chance to avoid estate planning pitfalls by taking further steps to help them succeed.
Sometimes keeping your estate wishes on track is a matter of implementing other actions to help support your existing plans. You may also have to modify your plans in the future. Forbes explains how you may take such actions to help keep your estate plans from failing.
Inform others about your documents
After finishing up their estate documents, many people tend to stick them inside of a filing cabinet or on a shelf and fail to tell their family members about them. Since some estate documents appoint your health care proxy, your power of attorney or your executor, it is important your loved ones know about these documents so they can access them. Otherwise, these documents may become useless when you or your loved ones need them the most.
Update your plans when needed
Remember that many estate plans have to change with the passage of time. You may need to update your will to address new wealth you accumulate, the death of a family member, or the birth of new children or grandchildren. Also, your health care proxy or estate executor candidates may die before you do, so you will have to appoint new ones in their place. So do not think that your estate planning documents are set in stone once you have finished them.
Prepare your heirs for the future
Sometimes children of parents are not ready to take on the responsibilities their parents hand them. Sometimes a child may not understand how to handle coming into sudden wealth when a father or mother dies. An unprepared heir can squander an inheritance on bad spending choices, poor investments or neglect.
Consider other actions to help your heirs beyond accumulating assets for them. Think about the values your children should exercise regarding money. Also see to it that your children have the skills to handle your estate wishes. Even if your estate is small, remember that some people have problems receiving estates of any size.