Ten Common Estate Planning Missteps

February 29, 2024

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

The following presentation by New England Capital Financial Advisors, LLC (“NECFA”) is intended for general information purposes only.  No portion of the presentation serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from NECFA or any other investment professional of your choosing.  Please see additional important disclosures at the end of this presentation. A copy of NECFA’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request or at www.newenglandcapital.com.

Ten Common Estate Planning Missteps

This edition of my vlog hits close to home, as I unfortunately recently experienced the passing of my father.  As I work on his estate with my stepmom, I am reminded how estate planning is a complex element of any financial plan. It requires an in-depth knowledge of trusts and the tax consequences of various approaches. It requires making assumptions about your future and protecting downside risk. And it’s an ever-evolving process that needs to be reviewed with some degree of frequency.

I’ve played a lead role for many of my clients, working with their estate attorneys and CPAs, to build a plan that meets their goals for their lifetime and beyond. Through this work, I’ve seen quite a few common missteps that I thought I’d share:

  • Not having an estate plan is the most common estate planning mistake. Planning for what will occur after you’re gone is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your affairs are in order and your loved ones are taken care of when the time comes.
  • Not naming a Power of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy is problematic if you become incapacitated. You can choose the same person for both or designate one for financial decisions and the other for medical. These roles typically dissolve upon your passing.
  • Not updating your will for changes that can take place within a family or business structure, such as births, deaths, divorces, and new property acquisitions could mean you may not be leaving assets to those you intend.
  • Not planning for unexpected or long-term disability can often have devastating consequences on your personal and financial affairs. You need to determine ahead of time who will make financial, family, and healthcare decisions on your behalf.
  • Putting your child's name on the house may seem like a good idea as you get older, but by doing so, you are giving your child a hefty-sized taxable gift. There are better ways to accomplish what you are looking to do.
  • Choosing a spouse or child to handle your estate may not be the best choice. Someone not as personally invested may be better suited to objectively oversee the extensive duties and demands required of an executor, trustee, or guardian.
  • Not having a contingency plan can be an issue if the person named to serve as a power of attorney, guardian, or executor is unable or unwilling to serve, a guardianship proceeding would have the courts decide who’s in charge.
  • Not updating planning after major life events, such as moving to a new state, getting separated, divorced, or remarried, as well as the birth, death, or marriage of a beneficiary can all have significant impacts on ensuring your wishes are carried out.
  • Not making final arrangements could put an added burden on your loved ones. Planning in advance about your funeral or burial preferences can be a blessing for those you leave behind. You should also make your end-of-life care wishes known.
  • Not securing your estate plan documents could waste all your efforts if your heirs cannot find them. Putting the plan in a safety deposit box is not the best option because it can become complicated when your loved ones try to gain access after you’re gone.

If you would like to discuss your current estate plan or are considering creating one, our office would love to hear from you.


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by New England Capital Financial Advisors, LLC [“NECFA”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from NECFA. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. NECFA is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the NECFA’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.newenglandcapital.comPlease Note: NECFA does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to NECFA’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Please Remember: If you are a NECFA client, please contact NECFA, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.  Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.