Have You Really Read Your Estate Planning Documents?

Your estate plan is your chance to decide who gets what after you die. It may also impact your retirement as well as what happens in the event you become incapacitated. In short, your estate planning documents are some of the most important legal documents you will ever sign, but have you really read them?

Most of us have a tendency to do nothing more than skim over legal documents. After all, they are typically full of legalese that can become boring to read. In addition, you probably depended on the person preparing the documents to draft them correctly. Mistakes do happen, which is why you should read each document word for word. A simple typographical error, for example, can change the entire design of your estate plan. Imagine, for example, that son is named after his father with the only difference in their names being the “Jr.” after your son’s name. Imagine further that you and his father are divorced. Let’s say that your Will was supposed to leave half of your estate to your son, but the “Jr.” was left off of his name unintentionally, and you failed to catch the mistake. When you die, your ex-spouse stands to inherit what was intended to go to your son.

Take the time now to pull out all those estate planning documents that you filed away and re-read them word for word to make sure that they accurately reflect your intentions. Even if you read them thoroughly the first time around, you could have missed something or you could realize that you want to make a change.