Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Death is always a difficult topic to discuss, especially when it comes to your own. But, regardless of pomp, power, or prestige, we are all going to die. It is this inevitability that creates a need for a discussion about estate planning. Unfortunately, reticence regarding this topic many times leads to mistakes. One common mistake in estate planning is the lack of a see-through provision in a trust. This failure may expose a trust to higher taxes than necessary upon death. Also, schedules that are left blank or incomplete may create ambiguities in what assets do, or do not, belong to the trust. Another issue arises from a failure to use payable on death (POD) and transfer on death (TOD) accounts. This oversight may force some assets through probate; a process involving attorneys that will charge fees. Finally, having too many accounts creates problems at death by making the estate distribution unnecessarily complicated. While this does not represent an exhaustive list, it is indicative of the importance of examining and updating estate plans to make sure they remain the best for you and your beneficiaries.
See Andrew McNair, Some of the Biggest Estate-Planning Mistakes People Make, Kiplinger, May 2017.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.