A sound estate plan may make it easier for the right person to retain control over your assets after your death. For instance, it can help to ensure that the correct heir obtains your car, bank account or Ohio home. It also allows you to name a guardian for any minor children you currently have. Take a look at some common estate planning mistakes that you’ll want to avoid making.
You hold too many assets in your estate
Holding assets outside of your estate can be an effective way to reduce the amount of money that you’ll owe to the government after you pass. You can take assets out of your estate by placing them in a trust or gifting them throughout your lifetime. Federal law allows you to make annual gifts of up to $15,000 per recipient. Married couples who are making joint gifts can give others up to $30,000 per year without triggering a taxable event.
You don’t review your estate plan often enough
Ideally, you’ll review your estate plan at least once per year. It is also a good idea to do so after a major life event such as the birth of a child, the death of a loved one or a divorce. This ensures that a will, trust or beneficiary designation accurately reflects your true intentions. An estate planning attorney may help you during the process of looking over these documents.
You don’t have an estate plan at all
Failing to create estate plan documents may be the biggest asset management mistake that you can make. Without a will, state law will likely determine who receives assets held in your estate. If you don’t have a plan, a judge may have to appoint someone to manage your affairs in the event that you’re incapacitated.
If you have any questions about wills, trusts or other estate plan documents, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney. He or she may be able to help ensure that these documents can be executed without issue.