Remember that any mistakes in your estate plan will live long after you. Follow these rules and you’ll end up with an estate plan that works well for you and your heirs.
Planning for the estate is really an ongoing activity. Accordingly, estate planning is not a “one-and-done” event, but rather it is a process to continue as things inevitably change. In this sense, you might say that proper planning, as an activity, is not guided by a checklist but by rules to follow. InvestingDaily offered some useful perspective on the rule-driven process of planning in a recent article titled “10 Basic Rules of Every Estate Plan.”
Here are the ten:
- Do something
- Keep track of your estate
- Estimate cash flow
- Choose executors and trustees
- Anticipate conflicts and reduce them
- Don’t search for a perfect solution
- Don’t be a control freak
- Make your general plan known, but don’t circulate your will
- Things change
- Keep it as simple as possible
I’ll leave it to the original article to explain each of the ten one by one, and there is much to be said for each. What strikes me is that each rule is really an ongoing process or else a mantra to be repeated. Although not exhaustive, especially for those of us with special considerations, these are at least the basic rules and should serve as a helpful guide.
In the end, if you treat estate planning as the process that it is, then such thinking will help keep you in the right mindset to enjoy ongoing estate planning peace of mind.
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Reference: InvestingDaily (April 17, 2014) “10 Basic Rules of Every Estate Plan”