Estate planning is a great way to ensure that your loved ones in Massachusetts remain financially secure after you’re gone. It’s also an effective way to communicate your wishes for your estate’s distribution among your heirs. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid making any costly mistakes.
Make sure your will is up to date
Many things may have changed in your life since you created your will. You may have married a new spouse, had more children or even made changes in property ownership. Be sure to review your will regularly and update it as needed to ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes. If your will doesn’t reflect your current wishes, it could end up getting contested in court. This can lead to years of legal battles and a lot of money wasted on attorney fees.
Choose the right executor
The executor is responsible for carrying out your wishes after you die. Choosing the wrong executor can lead to many problems. For instance, if the executor doesn’t have the time or resources to handle the job, your estate may not get handled properly. Or, if the executor is a relative of yours and there’s bad blood between them and other members of your family, things could get ugly. It’s important to choose an executor you can trust will carry out your wishes faithfully. You may also want to name an alternate executor in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to take on the role.
Don’t forget about taxes
One of the biggest estate planning mistakes is ignoring or forgetting to take taxes into account. When you die, for instance, your estate will likely owe federal and state taxes on the value of your assets. If you don’t have a plan in place to deal with these taxes, they could end up costing your heirs a lot of money. Work with an accountant to come up with a plan that minimizes the tax burden on your estate.
There are many other common errors people make when it comes to estate planning, but these are some of the most important ones to avoid. Take the time to create an effective plan for your needs to save you and your loved ones a lot of stress, confusion and money down the road.