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Home > Blog > Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, Deeds, Business Succession) > Things People Forget When Making an Estate Plan

Things People Forget When Making an Estate Plan


So you go to an estate planning lawyer to have your will and other estate plan documents drawn up. You have everything with you, all the information that you need, and you draw up an estate plan, including a will, perhaps a trust, and some other crucial documents, like powers of attorney or healthcare directives.

Did you forget anything? Well, you may have. Here are things that a lot of people who make estate plans, often forget or leave out.

Long Term Care

Long Term Care in an estate plan can be care for yourself, or for others. How will you pay for long term care—and what kind of long term care are you paying for? And no, Medicare does not pay for long term care.

At younger ages, you may be able to get insurance (and insurance is great, because you only have to budget for insurance premiums, a much more predictable long term cost than trying to calculate the actual cost of long term care).

Minor Children

If you have minor children, they may be in the custody or control of somebody that you don’t want to have control over the property or assets you are leaving to your child.

So, for example, imagine that you have a minor child from a previous marriage. If you pass, the child’s biological mother will have control over whatever you leave to that minor child. That may not be what you want. You can alter that, set up a trust, or do any number of things—if you remember to address it in your estate plan.

Inflation Calculations

Remember that the money you leave now, may not be the same money by the time it actually gets inherited—or if you’re putting conditions on the inheritance, it could be many years until those conditions are met (for example, leaving money for a now 2-year old child to one day attend college).

You don’t want someone you leave money or assets to be shortchanged because of the changing prices of goods and services over extended time. Even retirement accounts lose value to inflation over time. Make sure you account for the change in cost of goods and services over time.

Explanations of Omissions

If you are leaving a family member out of your estate plan, or leaving someone less than he or she would anticipate inheriting, you can be sure that will draw a challenge to your estate. You can avoid that challenge by leaving a letter of instruction or similar explanation, as to why you are doing what you are doing.

Leaving “explanations” doesn’t seem to be necessary, because it doesn’t actually leave any property to anybody. But it can avoid a challenge to an estate plan later on.

Do you have an estate plan? We can help. Call the West Palm Beach estate planning lawyers at The Law Offices of Larry E. Bray today for an estate plan that works for you.



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