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Avoiding common estate planning errors

Planning for the future can often feel like an intimidating or overwhelming task. As tempting as it may be to avoid the reality of estate planning, it’s important for every person to complete an estate plan to ensure proper execution of their final wishes once they’re gone.

Maintaining a comprehensive estate plan involves keeping information relevant with your lifestyle, family dynamics and changes to the law. For those who just lost a loved one, the idea of a complex probate process is just unnecessary pain and difficult in an already emotionally taxing time.

Vietnamese communities have long valued family as a high priority, so give yours the opportunity for a time of mourning devoid of tensions and a litigious probate process. To ensure the success of your estate plan, avoid these common errors.

Out-of-date information in a will

There are many contributing factors that may impact the relevance and applicability of a will over a person’s lifetime. Major milestones such as marriages, the birth of children or grandchildren, starting a business, losing loved ones and changes in financial assets can affect the important elements of a person’s will.

Stay proactive in your estate planning by revisiting a will periodically throughout your lifetime. Oftentimes a will needs to change after those major milestones, but those aren’t the only times to revisit a will. Changes in tax law and other relevant legislation may affect the relevance and execution of an estate plan as well. Revisit a will every two to three years to ensure it still meets legal standards and reflects your personal and professional circumstances.

Unprepared or unreliable executors

The executor of your estate takes responsibility of carrying out the final wishes from an estate plan. It’s important that this person can perform these duties effectively to actually carry out your wishes laid out in a comprehensive estate plan. A common mistake is to choose a person who is either unable to perform the role or unfit to meet the standards of care required.

Choose a person who you can trust, but also someone who can handle managing debts, taxes and other responsibilities of executing the estate plan. Consider where this person lives, their competency with organizational skills and whether that person will outlive you to carry out this duty. You may also designate a professional executor or choose alternates for your first choice to ensure someone capable can take the role if needed.

Estate planning can feel like a daunting task, but it’s by no means impossible to handle. Consult financial, legal and professional resources in Westminster to plan ahead for the future of your personal and professional assets. Putting in the effort now can save your loved ones time, hassle and stress down the line.

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