Keeping estate plan up to date to avoid estate litigation

Estate planning can be a challenging task, but that does not diminish its importance. Having a comprehensive estate plan in order can bring peace of mind to the estate holder and can help to avoid estate litigation farther down the line. However, major life changes can happen at any time, and some of them may require the estate holder to revisit their plan, their will and other late-life documentation. Keeping an British Columbia estate plan up to date is a very important part of the planning process. 

Keeping track of beneficiaries is a good place to start. Some suggest that annually reviewing the beneficiaries specified for an estate is in order to ensure that any potential changes are appropriately considered. It also makes sense to assign contingent beneficiaries in the event that something happens to the primary beneficiary in the midst of estate division. 

Creating a financial power of attorney is also important, as well as a medical power of attorney. Sometimes this can be the same person, and in other cases it makes more sense to apply those duties to different people. In either case, a power of attorney allows an individual or individuals to speak for the estate holder in specified circumstances on very important topics, including medical and/or financial decisions. 

Planning for late life can be stressful. However, the best way to avoid estate litigation or similar problems in British Columbia is to ensure an estate plan is kept up to date at all times. In this way, the last wishes of the estate holder can be honoured in the manner intended. 

Source: marketwatch.com, "Is your estate plan up to date? Check these 5 things", Melody Juge, Jan. 11, 2017

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