Estate planning is something every person should use, no matter what their financial situation may be. Good estate planning makes sure that your final wishes are honored, but there are obstacles that can pop up to potentially derail the estate planning process. Your professional estate planner can only work with what you give them, and the lack of quality information can hamper the efforts of even the best estate planning expert. There are three issues every estate planning client needs to learn to control if they want to get the best possible results for themselves and their families.
One of the biggest problems estate planning professionals run across is helping clients to deal with the emotion that goes into the planning process. When a client is trying to determine how to distribute an estate that took a lifetime to accumulate, it can be difficult to think of having to let certain treasured items go.
Emotions can cloud a person's judgment and create disastrous results. Before sitting down to discuss the formation of an estate, the client needs to take a deep breath and do what is best for themselves and their family.
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is not a one time event. Over the course of time, a person's life can change. For example, if a person was divorced when they put together their estate, then the arrangements within that estate will reflect the needs of any children or ex-spouses. But what if that person remarries and has more children? If the estate is not changed, then it will be difficult for the new family to lay any kind of claim to the client's estate.
Estate planning is an ongoing process that should be updated based on the changes that occur over time. An estate should never be neglected, especially if major life changes have occurred. The purpose of an estate is to administer the client's final wishes. As those wishes change, so should the estate.
If an estate has to go through probate court, then the court will look at every element of the estate and compare it to any of the arrangements that have been made. If important parts of the estate are not mentioned in a will or trust, then the probate court will have to decide what will happen to those parts of the estate.
When a client prepares to meet with their estate planner, they should spend some time making notes of everything that is important to them to make sure that the estate is comprehensive. A lack of focus could mean that an important part of an estate might be distributed in a way that the client never intended.
Estate planning is an important process that requires the complete attention of the client and the estate planner. The first step is to hire an experienced estate planner who knows how to turn a person's estate into a sound legal arrangement. The second step for the client is to remain engaged in the estate planning process and make sure that their estate always represents their current situation and needs.