Back on Sept. 17, we discussed common mistakes too many people in Florida make when it comes to their estate plan. Today, we will add a few to the list that readers will want to avoid while drawing up or amending their plan. Hopefully, with the right estate planning attorney to help, none of our readers will fall into the following traps.
- Thinking you are not rich enough for a trust. Anyone can create a trust to handle some or all of their assets, rather than automatically relying on a will. A trust offers the advantage of avoiding probate, which can be expensive and airs your private business in public.
- Forgetting to fund the trust. Just setting up a trust, such as a revocable trust, is only the first step. You have to fund it for it to be actually recognized later.
- Not considering other assets. Many important assets, like retirement accounts and insurance policies, are not executed through a will or trust. When you review your estate plan, it may be a good idea to check the beneficiaries of these assets, to see if you need to change them.
- Inappropriate planning for the kids. Parents of young kids may establish a trust that leaves them a large portion of the estate when they grow up. But as time passes and the children become adults, their parents may decide not to leave them everything right away. Perhaps it makes more sense to give the trustee more discretion in distributing funds.