Estate planning is one of the most effective ways to protect your assets in California and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your death. However, estate planning can be a complex process, and there are a number of mistakes that can you can make during estate planning.
Not updating your documents
You should review and update your estate planning documents on a regular basis, particularly if there have been any changes in your family or financial situation. If you don’t update your documents, they may not be valid or may not reflect your current wishes. For instance, you may have named a beneficiary who has since died, or you may have divorced and no longer want your ex-spouse to inherit your estate.
Naming the wrong executor or trustee
An executor is the person who’s responsible for the estate administration and probate process. A trustee, on the other hand, is responsible for managing any trust funds that are part of the estate.
You should choose someone you trust to fulfill these roles and make sure that they’re willing to take on the responsibility. You should also make sure that the executor and trustee are organized, responsible, and trustworthy, and that they live close enough to you to fulfill their duties.
Not funding your trust
If you have a trust as part of your estate plan, it’s important to make sure that it’s properly funded. This means transferring ownership of your assets into the trust so that they can be managed according to the terms of the trust. If you don’t fund your trust, it may not be able to achieve its objectives.
Avoiding these estate planning mistakes can help to ensure that your estate plan is valid and reflects your wishes. Estate planning is an important process, and it’s worth taking the time to do it right.