Once an estate plan is in place, it is just as important to ensure the documents are kept up to date. If any of them are not kept current, it could possibly open the door to trust and estate litigation in the future. New York residents may wish to review their own documents at least yearly for accuracy.
A financial adviser recently pointed out a few key areas that some may not be aware of when they drafted their final plans. One thing that needs to be kept up on is the name that is on all accounts. Having different forms of one's name on the accounts may make things more difficult on one's beneficiary. It may be best to list the full and proper name of any beneficiary on all accounts to ensure that the distribution of the intended inheritance is not lost in costly and drawn out court proceedings.
When it comes to Individual Retirement Accounts, any changes in the designated beneficiary are required to be done using a particular form. Any wills or trusts that delegate the beneficiary will not apply to the IRA. This type of account goes directly to the person named upon the passing of the owner. Therefore, it is important to keep these accounts consistent with the holder's current wishes.
Anytime there is a major change in one's life, it may be beneficial to double check estate plan documents to make sure that they are still current and reflect the holder's wishes accurately. In some cases, just changing a will or amending a trust is not enough to be certain that all legal documents are covered. New York residents can obtain further information and any needed assistance by consulting with an attorney who is knowledgeable in estate planning laws in order to protect one's inheritance wishes from the possibility of trust and estate litigation.
Source: marketwatch.com, "Is your estate plan up to date? Check these 5 things", Melody Juge, Jan. 12, 2017