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How can I avoid common estate planning mistakes?

If you have assets and property in your name, you should have an estate plan in place in the event of your death. Additionally, your estate plan should be free of common mistakes and oversights, which can impact whether your final wishes are carried out. To help you create a valid and legally binding plan, Forbes offers the following tips.

Be sure to update your plan as needed

Circumstances are bound to change over time, which means your estate plan should change along with them. Every three years or so, revisit your plan and consider whether it still suits your needs. New marriages, deaths in the family, and other occurrences may call for an altered plan, which must include all other estate planning documents. If you fail to update your plan your heirs may not receive their fair share of your estate.

Don’t forget to fund your trust

While wills are considered the cornerstone of estate planning, trusts are also highly useful. However, many people forget to take all the necessary steps when creating their trusts, such as funding it with property and other assets. With real estate, this entails changing the deed to show trust ownership. With financial accounts, such as retirement funds, they must be transferred into the name of the trust to ensure they're included.

Create inheritance schedules for kids and young adults

Many parents fear leaving their kids a lump sum inheritance. Leaving a large sum of money to a person who’s financially inexperienced can lead to many poor decisions and may even impact his or her financial future. To prevent this, you can schedule inheritance payments over the course of your child’s life to increase the chance of reasonable financial decision-making.

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