When it comes to estate planning, it can be difficult to keep track of everything, even if you do not have a complex estate to manage. It is easy for certain issues to be overlooked, or for certain problems to go unaddressed in your estate plan, potentially causing legal difficulties later on. With careful review, though, you can protect yourself and your loved ones through your estate plan. Here are five estate planning issues you may not have considered:
- Care for minor children or dependents
- A surprisingly common issue in many estate plans is a lack of planning to deal with minor children or other dependents. This issue is especially important for any dependents you have with special needs, who may require lifelong care that you may not be around to provide. Estate planning can help you ensure your dependent loved ones will be taken care of even when you are gone, but only if you plan ahead properly.
- Naming beneficiaries for retirement accounts/insurance
- Many people have life insurance policies and retirement accounts to help pay for their expenses and care for their families when they pass away. What many people do not realize is that they need to name beneficiaries to receive that money once you pass away. If you do not, it could cause a massive legal headache for your loved ones later on.
- Distributing investments
- Anyone with significant investments, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or investment properties, has probably put a lot of time and energy into managing those investments. However, a surprising number of people with significant investments will forget to distribute those investments as part of their estate plan. This can mean a large number of valuable properties will need to be sorted out by the probate court, costing your loved ones a significant amount of time and money.
- Failing to name an executor
- When you pass away, the duty of ensuring your estate plan is carried out is left to your executor. It is normal for people to name an executor in their will, in addition to potential replacements in case the executor cannot, or will not, take on the job. However, far too many people fail to name executors in their estates, or will fail to name backups if the first named executor is unavailable. When that happens, they leave their estate in the hands of whoever the court appoints to be the executor, who may be a complete stranger.
- Not accounting for death of a beneficiary
- Unfortunately, a lot of things can happen between when you make your estate plan and when you pass away. That can include one of your beneficiaries dying before you do. A well-made estate plan can accommodate this issue, preventing the worst possible legal consequences of these circumstances. However, to understand how best to build your estate plan, you should speak to a lawyer with knowledge of estate planning issues.
The estate law attorneys at David J. Lorber & Associates, PLLC will thoroughly analyze your estate and work with you to determine the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, and ensuring your needs are met. For comprehensive estate planning services in New York, call David J. Lorber & Associates, PLLC at (631) 750-0900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our Setauket office.