Estate planning requires periodic maintenance

Estate plans in Michigan are becoming more common as people better understand the need for them. However, just having one in place doesn't mean a person can assume that he or she is covered for all eventualities. There are maintenance issues to be aware of and mistakes to look out for. Like so many things, successful estate planning is in the details.

An estate plan is in place and a person believes he or she has covered all of the eventualities, even if the person is a little hazy on some of the details. If one is confused about the details of a document, one should ask the estate planner for clarification to ensure that what is desired is clearly spelled out in the document. In addition to understanding all parts of an estate plan, it's important to keep them up to date.

A common error is not keeping beneficiary information current. Beneficiaries are designated on the insurance or retirement policy and failure to keep those up to date could cause problems. Occasional review of these documents ensures the information is accurate in the event of a person's sudden passing.

A good rule to follow is that any time there is a significant change in a person's life, such as birth, death or marriage, estate plans should be reviewed. A person in Michigan may derive great benefit from reviewing his or her estate plan with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. Such a review can help to ensure that the person's last wishes are successfully carried out.

Source: Forbes, "Avoiding 7 Deadly Estate Planning Mistakes", Bob Carlson, April 20, 2018

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