As Halloween approaches, ghosts and goblins are on a lot of people’s minds. But while it can be fun to decorate our houses with creepy crawlies or watch scary movies, there’s one type of ghost that no one wants: a phantom haunting your estate plan. If you haven’t updated your wills, trusts, or other documents in a while, you may find yourself visited by some truly spooky ghosts in the form of unaccounted-for assets.
Here’s how to stop being haunted and start protecting your future.
A Few Phantoms That May Be Haunting Your Estate Plan
If it’s been a while since you looked over your estate plan, you may have a few loose threads to pick up. Here’s what to look for:
- Misassigned Assets. One of the most common ghosts that may be haunting your estate plan is a set of misassigned assets. When you first drew up your will or trust, you knew exactly where you wanted all your prized possessions to go. But things change. You might get divorced or have a falling out with someone. You might start a new relationship or have kids or grandkids. Updating your estate plan every few years or after every major life event is essential for avoiding any surprises.
- Unassigned Assets. Unassigned assets are another group of phantoms that may be affecting your estate plan. While your most valuable possessions are likely accounted for in your will or trust, it’s also possible that you overlooked a few assets in drawing up your estate plan. This can create some complications when it comes time to administer your estate. Working with an experienced estate planning lawyer can help ensure the absence of any “ghost” assets and help you in protecting your future.
- Plans without Designated Beneficiaries. Chances are you have one or may financial accounts. You may also have retirement accounts or life insurance policies. These type of accounts differ from other assets in that they are transferred directly to their intended beneficiaries upon the administration of your estate. Nonetheless, too many people either fail to specify a beneficiary on their accounts or forget to update these beneficiaries. Not attending to these phantom beneficiary designations can create major headaches.
Contact the Estate Planning Experts at Deliberato Law Center
If you’re looking to take the spooky out of Halloween season, the experienced attorneys at Deliberato Law Center are here to help. We have many years of experience helping clients with all aspects of their estate plan. Give us a call today at 216-341-3413 or fill out the form below and start chasing the ghosts away.