Top 5 Estate Planning Mistakes People Make

1) Residence Removed from Trust Because Clients Refinanced

When refinancing a property, clients are often not aware that the lender often has them sign a Quitclaim Deed to remove the property from their Trust. This can lead to problems later unless remedied.

2) Taxable Accounts Not Titled In the Trust

For the Trust to work, you have to go to the bank and put your accounts into it. If your bank statements don’t should show the Trust ownership, then the accounts are not in the Trust.

3) Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations are Not Updated

Retirement plans and life insurance are payable to the beneficiary listed on your beneficiary designation form and will not automatically follow the terms of your Trust. Therefore, it’s worth checking these forms with your provider to make sure they’re up to date.

4) Outdated Estate Plan Distributions

While many simple distribution plans might work fine without the need for revisions, there’s nothing worse than learning a decedent with old paperwork would have preferred an updated distribution. So please check to make sure your plan is current.

5) Lack of Tax Planning

At the time a spouse passes away, it’s easy to assume your plan is working because the law already accounts for simple transfers to spouses. However, it’s important to touch base with your accountant and attorney about any tax planning that should be completed at that time as well.

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