Galloway and Collens, PLLC

Tips to not let an estate plan go horribly wrong

When the time comes for a family, couple or an individual to set up an estate plan, that party or parties may have very clear ideas about what they want to happen or what they foresee the situation to be. Nevertheless, most Michigan families realize life circumstances and family changes can and do happen throughout one's lifetime. Anyone who has already or is in the process of creating an estate plan may want to think about what can go wrong after that plan has been created.

One thing many get wrong is that they create a plan and then simply leave it as it is. In a typical estate plan, people designate guardians for minor children and also decide how much to put into a trust for beneficiaries. The person designated as a guardian might be a great choice at the time and then become the wrong choice after certain events or lifestyle changes transpire. It is important to keep these vital people in mind and act accordingly when they no longer fit the bill.

People with children often find creating trusts for those kids is an ideal way to leave assets to those they love. However, as those children grow and become adults, certain incidents or lifestyles may mean that child or those children should not receive a certain amount of funds by a certain age. Also, a child with special needs may need more funds than previously thought.

A good estate plan is fluid and evolves as the needs of a family change. In Michigan, families may want to discuss details and revise an estate plan when necessary as a means of ensuring wishes are upheld and the best interests of beneficiaries are kept in mind. Professional assistance and guidance can help families create an estate plan that fits their unique needs and also set a timetable to consider any needed revisions.


Source:, "Trust bust: Steer clear of the 8 biggest estate-planning mistakes", Barry Glassman, Oct. 22, 2014

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