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The Fundamentals Of Creating An Estate Plan: Things You Should Know

by Maurice Moore

Although most adults understand that estate planning is one of those necessities of life to ensure that your loved ones are properly taken care of, many don't understand the process well enough to avoid some common pitfalls. If you've been thinking about establishing an estate plan, it's important that you are fully prepared for the process. In fact, there are some things you need to think about that are often overlooked. Here's a look at some of the key considerations during your estate planning process.

Remember That Estate Plans Evolve

One thing that many people forget about is that estate plans will evolve over time. Your assets change, your preferences may have shifted, or your family gains a new member that you need to consider. Don't create your estate plan, put it in a drawer, and never think about it again. You should evaluate your estate plan at least once a year, or more often if you're concerned about your health. Your estate planning attorney can help you with the review process.

Understand That Estate Plans Go Beyond Death

It's a common misconception that estate plans are solely about ensuring plans for after your death. The fact is that an estate plan is a comprehensive document that can also address needs and wishes in the event that you are incapacitated, such as in a coma. You can include a medical power of attorney, business succession plans, temporary transfer of power requests, and more. All of these things are important aspects of an estate plan.

Be Selective About Your Trustee

When you create an estate plan, you'll have to name a trustee who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and ensuring that your assets get distributed the way that you wanted them to be. It's important that you give the trustee choice a lot of careful consideration. 

Opt for someone that you can trust implicitly, who you know will carry out your wishes no matter what they may be. You should also be sure that your trustee isn't someone who can be easily bullied or pressured by others if you're concerned about anyone contesting your estate plan after your death.

Make sure that your trustee understands their role and has a clear picture of what your wishes are. If anything changes along the way, communicate those changes to your trustee right away to avoid any confusion.

These are some of the most important estate planning considerations. Talk with an attorney near you or visit a site like today to start creating your final plans.