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The importance of follow-through in estate planning

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2020 | Estate Planning |

It’s important to get estate planning right by actually following through on plans made with the help of professionals. Experienced estate planners in Massachusetts know all too well that they can lead a horse to water, but they can’t make it drink. All the best advice in the world won’t help if their clients don’t take the steps making it possible to put the plan into action.

Execution is everything

One of the most common examples of this can be seen in the issues around living trusts. Financial planners will typically advise their clients to utilize living trusts as a way to avoid probate. However, while people are keen to set up trusts, they often don’t remember to fund them.

A trust that hasn’t been funded has no assets. Ideally, cars, homes and other valuable assets attached to the estate are placed in the trust. When this doesn’t happen, all the assets that haven’t been transferred will now have to go through the long, involved probate process. This doesn’t work out well for anyone.

Communication is key

As with most things in life, communication about estate planning is crucial to ensuring it all goes off without a hitch. Issues like power of attorney and advance medical directives can become contentious in families, so it’s very important that this information doesn’t just stay between the lawyer and their client. It’s important to let children and other family members have some idea of what the plans are before the day comes where they have to be put into effect.

Understanding the ins and outs of estate planning may help individuals avoid costly legal proceedings. It might also eliminate rifts in families before they even get started. Experienced estate planning attorneys may provide helpful guidance, but following through on their advice is key to reap the benefits.

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