While you should be able to determine whether your beneficiaries and powers of attorney are current at a glance, you will need the help of an attorney to revise any documents as needed and to determine where any holes in your estate plan may lie.
Many people, for example, make the mistake of setting up a revocable living trust, which is supposed to ensure that assets titled in the name of the trust fall outside of probate, but they forget to actually put those assets into the trust, said Wilmington Trust's Kroch.
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"It's the document-in-the-drawer syndrome," she said. "If you don't put anything in it, you don't make the trust a living, breathing thing, and your will then will govern it all. These two documents should work together."
Proper estate planning ensures that your assets will be preserved, protected and distributed according to your wishes after you die, said U.S. Trust's Drossman. But it's not a "set it and forget it" tool.