Proper estate planning gives you the opportunity to maximize the value of your assets and allows you to make informed decisions about the handling of your estate.

Estate planning is a unique process that allows you to customize what you want to happen with your assets. However, several common estate planning mistakes still affect many people.

Not updating your beneficiaries

It is easy to forget to update your retirement plans and insurance policies with the appropriate beneficiary designations. Updating your beneficiaries on these plans helps you keep your overall estate distribution goals consistent. These assets are not automatically controlled by your will or trust so if you do not include these beneficiary designation updates, they will not distribute as you intended.

Forgetting a contingency plan

As you work on your estate planning documents, select people you can name as alternates who will serve under powers of attorney or as your executor. If you only have a single person designated for these roles, you may run into issues. Failing to name a second option for your executor or trustee could result in the probate court determining who the successor will be.

Not updating after major life events

After you experience any major life events, always make sure to review your estate planning documents. For example, update if you move to a new state, if you separate from your spouse, if you remarry or if a beneficiary you already named marries or dies.

Avoiding these mistakes will save your estate money in the long run and bring you peace of mind.