Estate planning can be a complicated task but one that puts your mind at ease once it is finished. However, estate planning is not over once the ink is dry on your will and other documents. The following are three actions to take after you have executed your estate plan to ensure it stays up-to-date.
Make sure to review your will periodically
It is important to review your will periodically. This is for a variety of reasons. It is likely that you are leaving certain assets to specific people in your will. However, what happens if you sell or otherwise give away or lose these assets during your lifetime. There will be nothing to give to the heir who would have received those assets. After all, you cannot give away what you do not have.
Do not let your trust sit empty
If you have a trust, it remains empty until you fund it. This means you change the title of your assets from you as the owner into the name of the trust during your lifetime. Similarly, cash you want to be placed in the trust needs to be transferred to the trust during your lifetime. If your trust sits empty at the time of your death, there will be nothing for your beneficiaries to inherit unless you also have a pour-over will.
Update your heirs and beneficiaries when necessary
When you execute your will or trust you will likely name close loved ones such as your spouse and your children as heirs to your estate. In addition, some assets such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies have beneficiaries named to receive these funds upon your death. However, life is rarely static. You may divorce, remarry or have grandchildren. Make sure to update your beneficiary designations when necessary. After all, most people do not want their ex-spouse to inherit their estate.
Most people in Severna Park with an estate plan put a lot of thought and care into its contents. It can be a mistake, though, to leave your estate plan to collect dust after it is executed. Reviewing your will, funding your trust and updating heirs and beneficiaries are three ways to ensure your final wishes will be met when the time comes.