Understanding an Estate Plan is Critical to its Effectiveness

Dunlap Law Insights

When people recognize a need to begin planning their estate, they may be instantly overwhelmed with the breadth of important decisions that are awaiting them. However, when people in Minnesota put in adequate time learning about the purpose and function of an estate plan, they may be much more confident and effective in putting together a comprehensive document that accurately depicts their final wishes.

Because estate planning is such an involved process that addresses many key issues including distribution of assets, allotment of property, guardianship of minors and even health care or financial proxy information, mistakes can undoubtedly be made. Serious mistakes, however, can compromise the effectiveness of a person’s plan so it is critical that they avoid errors that could put them at risk.

Forbes suggests that people spend considerable time learning about their estate plan and how it will function following their death. Some important mistakes that people should avoid include the following:

  • Revocable trusts are created, but not properly funded which means they cannot prevent people’s assets from being subject to probate.
  • Beneficiaries remain unchanged despite changes in familial relationships and preferences.
  • Links between a person’s trust and retirement accounts are never created which can cause confusion and disappointment once recognized.

According to Fidelity Investments, once a person has finalized their estate plan and is comfortable with its ability to provide direction and instructions for their surviving family members, they should regularly revisit their plan to make needed modifications. As a general recommendation, people should review their plan every 2 to 5 years to guarantee that it is still valid despite any changes that may have taken place in their life during the time that has elapsed since its creation.