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Don’t overlook these estate planning essentials

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Estate Planning

Missouri residents often overlook estate planning, with many thinking they only need to do something once they reach senior citizen status. Others start the process earlier but believe they cannot change it once they establish a plan. Both scenarios are wrong. Consider the following omissions to your estate plan.

Signs you have neglected your estate plan

Estate planning has many different components. However, even if you have one, these eight key signs can indicate that you need to pay attention to it:

  • You don’t have a will
  • Outdated beneficiaries
  • No power of attorney
  • No plan for digital assets
  • Ignoring tax implications
  • No trust for specific needs
  • Failing to plan for business succession
  • No end-of-life care plans

Life changes, and so should your estate plan. Many changes that occur are drastic. For example, you may not have owned a business when establishing your estate plan. Those who set their estate plans over 10 years ago may not have considered what to do with online accounts, including social media and banking entities. With online accounts, your family may not have access if you don’t designate an heir. If you recognize any of the above signs, you may need to consider changes to update your estate plan.

Small estates also need consideration

Another common mistake is that smaller estates don’t need updating. Although these estates may not have the same tax implications as larger ones, your heirs may still have difficulty accessing funds and going through unnecessary probate if you don’t have the correct documents.

Proper planning can help your beneficiaries get around estate taxes, have immediate access to pay bills after your passing, and more. Keep a list of all assets and periodically review them to ensure your plan meets your wishes and all beneficiaries are updated.