Now is a good time to review estate administration plans

For some readers of this Oklahoma estate planning and probate blog, reviewing one's personal estate administration plan is a regular occurrence. Some people look over their end-of-life and estate plan arrangements regularly in order to make sure that they change with the creator's wants and needs. Conversely, however, some people never look over their estate plans, either because they choose not to or because they have never gotten around to making plans in the first place.

Some individuals elect not to make estate plans because they do not see the value in them or because they feel they have time to do them in later life. Unfortunately, even the young and apparently healthy can succumb to accidents and unexpected illnesses. Even young, unmarried individuals without kids can benefit from creating estate administration plans that dictate their desires for their wealth.

A good estate plan not only directs a person's wealth to the person's intended beneficiaries, but also keeps unintended beneficiaries from receiving gifts or inheritance. For example, if a planner and a family member are constantly at odds, that planner may choose to exclude the person's adversary from the person's estate plan. If that individual died without an estate plan, it could be possible that the person's despised relation could inherit the person's wealth through intestacy.

Finally, outside of making a few key decisions about wealth management and estate administration, estate plans do not have to be hard to understand. The perceived complexities of estate planning often keep some from ever making plans or from reviewing their plans once created. Regularly keeping up with one's own plan can prevent it from becoming outdated, irrelevant and incompatible with the planner's desires.

There are other factors that can play into a person's avoidance of creating or reviewing the person's estate plan, but readers of this blog should know that estate planning does not have to be scary. Anyone can create a good plan with the right help. A good estate plan grows with a person as his life changes and can easily be reviewed by its creator.

Source: Consumer Reports, "6 costly estate-planning minefields, and how to avoid them," April 14, 2015

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