When you and your family are designing your estate plan, there are many legal issues to address. In some cases, people will take a “do-it-yourself” approach to address their estate planning needs. The problem with legal forms and “do-it-yourself” estate planning kits are many. For example, there are specific court requirement and standards to meet in order for certain estate plan instruments to be legally valid. Each jurisdiction may also have their own special requirements and standards that must be addressed. The worst mistake is to pass away believing your estate plan is valid, and only leaving loved ones in a legal mess during the probate of estate process.
Also, it is essential that you and your family members periodically review and revise your family’s estate plan. Laws and tax rules change from time to time. Working with an estate plan attorney is beneficial to ensure the legal documents are both compliant and that the estate plan is reviewed each year. In addition, an experienced estate planning attorney from our firm will significantly reduce the likelihood that you’ll encounter one of the following estate planning errors. As your family’s estate planning attorney may be able to help you correct it and get your estate plan back on track.
Taking a set-it-and-forget-it approach is another estate planning mistake that some people make. Since your life involves some amount of change, your estate plan must be periodically reviewed and updated to account for any changes in your life since you made the plan or since you last updated it. Families grow, assets get sold, and estate planning goals can change. Your estate planning attorney can review your estate plan with you, identify any changes you may want or need to make, and check to make sure that your current estate plan reflects what you see as your estate planning goals.
In addition, your estate planning attorney can address the sensitive questions that your beneficiaries will have and on your behalf. Also, you will want an attorney to legally document the funding of trust accounts. This way, everything is legally compliant and documented properly to avoid potential conflicts between the beneficiaries. It is not enough to create a trust on paper; the trust must also be funded by the settlor, who must follow the proper procedures for putting money and assets into the trust. Funding a trust is something that is best accomplished with the aid of an attorney and or a financial planner, as it involves retitling assets, changing beneficiary designations, obtaining appropriate insurance, and obtaining proper confirmation that things are as they should be. Trusts are an excellent estate planning tool, but using them successfully requires follow-through and attention to detail for them to work as intended.
Working with a Kansas estate planning attorney is the best way to avoid all kinds of estate planning mistakes and choose the right estate plan for your needs. If you are interested in beginning, revising, or correcting an estate plan, call Wichita estate planning attorney J. Joseph Weber today, at 316-265-7802. Alternately, you may contact online for your convenience.