Creating and drafting an estate plan is not the easiest thing to do. There are, after all, a great number of things with which one must be concerned, and it’s quite easy to overlook some issues. Most often these issues are overlooked because they either do not address the tax code or they do address the tax code; either way, take a look at this list and see if you have overlooked some of these issues:
The Estate Tax
Don’t jump to the conclusion that your estate won’t qualify for the estate tax. You may be safe today, but, given the way tax laws fluctuate, who knows if that will still be true tomorrow. Ignoring it may cost your survivors a large portion of your estate.
Clearly and Specifically Identify Beneficiaries
The failure to do this can cause all sorts of problems, including litigation. If you name a specific person, does he or she have a name that might be easily mistaken? If you give a class gift, such as “to my children,” does that include adopted children? Specificity counts.
Make Use of Advance Directives
You never know when you may become so incapacitated by illness or injury that you need someone else to make healthcare decisions for you. Drafting a healthcare proxy (it appoints someone to make healthcare decisions for you), a living will (states what medical procedures you’re willing to undergo for treatment), or other such device will help ensure your wishes are adhered to, should you be struck by such incapacity.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.