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Document missteps could compromise an estate plan

The future is full of uncertainties. Given this, there are a variety of protections a person may want to put in place. This includes mechanisms for protecting their assets, children and family in the event the worst happens. Estate planning can provide individuals with a way of putting such protections in place.

Many things can impact how effective a given estate plan will end up being at providing the protections a person wants it to. This includes documentation matters.

One class of document that is obviously very important in this regard are the estate planning documents one has formed. When a person doesn’t pick estate planning documents that are well-suited for their goals or includes unclear or unenforceable terms in their estate planning documents, it could compromise the estate plan’s ability to provide the protections it was intended to. So, the decisions a person makes on what documents and terms to include in their estate plan can have very big implications.

Other documents that can end up having big impacts in connection to a person’s estate plan are financial records. When a person dies or becomes incapacitated and they don’t have accurate financial records, it could create complications related to following through on the wishes they laid out in an estate plan. So, a person’s financial record-keeping practices can end up mattering considerably.

As one can see, all sorts of details regarding the documents one has in one’s estate plan and supporting documents (such as financial records), can end up being critical ones in a person’s efforts to put important protections in place through estate planning. Individuals can consult with skilled estate planning lawyers for guidance on what they can do to avoid mistakes when it comes to such details that could compromise their estate plan’s protective abilities.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, “5 Mistakes Can Implode an Estate Planning Strategy,” Brian O'Connell, May 22, 2017

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