When creating an estate plan, it is crucial to fully understand the process. This includes understanding the critical issues with estate planning. Board certified, experienced estate planning lawyer John Mangan with offices in Stuart and Palm City, can help review your options and explain the advantages and disadvantages of those options. A professional can also raise issues you had not previously considered to make sure you are creating an estate plan that meets your needs.
Stuart and Palm City estate planning attorneys understand the different tools needed to create a comprehensive plan for an individual’s future. Anyone who does not understand an estate plan should obtain professional clarification. Take notes explaining why certain plans are put in place, in case questions arise later. Issues with estate planning can stem from a basic misunderstanding of terms or vehicles used to accomplish particular goals.
Estate planning should consist of far more than creating a will. For example, an estate plan may include revocable and irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and many other features.
For a plan to be successful, it is best to take all assets and debts into consideration. This includes assets such as retirement benefits, life insurance, annuities, and other assets that are distributed according to a beneficiary designation form. Many bank and brokerage accounts can also now be distributed via designation form, which could leave an estate under-funded. It is important to look at which assets are subject to beneficiary designation. In some cases, it may make sense to change the beneficiary from an individual to a trust as part of an estate plan.
Issues with estate planning often involve outdated beneficiary designations that conflict with the objectives of an estate plan. For instance, a former spouse or deceased individual may unintentionally remain a beneficiary, or a newer family member may not be included as a beneficiary. Reviewing the status of all assets with an estate planning lawyer can help avoid many potential problems.
After creating an estate plan, it should be reviewed periodically. Eventually, once the person who created the plan dies, the plan will require administration according to the will and/or trust.
Issues with estate planning often concern various administrative tasks. It is wise to choose fiduciaries who can be trusted to take their administrative responsibilities seriously. When naming a family member or friend, it is prudent to insist that they consult an experienced attorney for assistance and advice once they assume their role.
Depending on the unique needs of your situation, many other issues could arise with estate planning. For instance, if you are considering naming a non-U.S. citizen as a beneficiary or trustee, that could have tax ramifications. Working with a knowledgeable estate planning advisor can provide the means to anticipate and prevent issues with estate planning in Palm City and resolve any concerns that materialize later. To discuss your estate plan, call today to speak with an attorney.