Why do Estate Plans Fail?
#3 – Failure to Fund a Trust
So many people think that once they create a trust, they are done. That’s just not true. A trust is a living document, not a static stack of paper.
After you create your trust, you need to make sure it is properly funded. Accounts, vehicles, and property need properly retitled so that the trust owns them.
#2 – Failure to Plan for Incapacity
Your estate plan needs to address more than just how property will pass. Studies show that over half of people who reach 65 will become incapacitated for some period of time. Incapacity can happen to anyone at any time because of accidents, disease, other medical incident, or disability. You need to be proactive and create a plan that names people you trust to act on your behalf.
Otherwise, your loved ones may be forced into court to be allowed to care for you or to challenge an otherwise unwanted guardianship by adult protective services.
Another way to protect assets is with a Trust. Your successor trustee can manage and protect assets on your terms if you are incapacitated.
#1 – Failure to Plan
The #1 reason estate plans fail is failure to plan!
There is perhaps no bigger mistake than not having any plan at all.
Your estate will be subject to the long, expensive probate process. That process has strict rules on how and when your assets are divided up and passed out.
If you become incapacitated without a plan your family will be forced into court to get permission to manage your financial, legal, and healthcare choices. And, it could be adult protective services, not your family that takes over.
Without a plan, you will be putting the hassles of probate on your spouse and children.
Without a plan, you risk a total stranger taking over your affairs.
Without a plan, you don’t have a say in how your property will be distributed.