When you are planning your estate in Pennsylvania, one of the most important decisions you will make is who should receive your assets after you die. This decision can be tricky, and there are a few things to avoid if you want to make sure your loved ones inherit what you want them to.
Not regularly updating your plans
Estate planning is not a one-time event; it is a process. Pennsylvania’s laws are constantly evolving, and changes in your personal circumstances may require you to update your plans. If you recently married, divorced, had a kid or grandkid or the state or federal government changed its laws, it’s important to review your beneficiary designations and make sure they still reflect your wishes.
Failing to account for tax implications
Designating a beneficiary in Pennsylvania can have significant tax consequences. This is especially true if you are leaving assets to someone who lives in another state or country – they may be subject to additional taxes depending on the jurisdiction. It’s important that you understand how estate taxes work and take them into consideration when deciding who should receive your assets after you die.
Giving too much weight to one person’s opinion
You may feel like certain family members have more of a “right” to your assets than others, but it’s important not to let one person or opinion dictate who should get what. You may also feel obligated to give special consideration to a certain person, such as an ex-spouse or an estranged family member. This can lead to complicated and unpredictable outcomes, especially if that person passes away before you do.
Beneficiary designations are wonderful estate planning tools, and you should consider using them if your circumstances are appropriate. However, it’s also important to be aware of these common mistakes to ensure your loved ones are cared for well even after your passing.