Some common problems that I see with estate plans are:
Old Powers of Attorney. Powers of attorney are wonderful documents in theory. Working with them can sometimes be a chore, though, especially when trying to convince others (like banks) to accept them on their face. An "old" power of attorney is more difficult to deal with than a fresh one because a question arises as to whether it is still good or whether it has been replaced. I suggest that you "refresh" your powers of attorney every two to three years by restating them.
Outdated Beneficiary Designations. Always verify who the named beneficiaries are for each asset that does not pass through a will. Individuals will often name someone other than their LGBT partners as beneficiaries on employee benefits such as life insurance or 401(k) plans. It is extremely common for clients simply to forget that a previous unmarried partner or parent is still named on an IRA or life insurance policy. For individuals who wish to leave a portion of their estates to a charity, designation of a charity as a direct beneficiary of some or all or a tax-deferred account is often preferable to making a bequest in the will that will be funded with post-tax dollars.
Not Safekeeping Documents. You need not always give copies of your trusts, powers of attorney, etc. to other people (agents and fiduciaries) who may need to implement them. However, you should communicate to the interested people their role, what kind of documents exist, and where they can find them if the need arises. If these people cannot reach the documents when needed, implementation will not be smooth. Many times clients do not know where their documents are. Keep copies in each person's car and suitcase when you travel.
Power of Attorney for Health Care. The agent and successor agent(s) under your health care power of attorney should be made aware of its existence and the location where it can be found in the event the agent needs a copy of it for purposes of implementation. The health care power of attorney is only effective if the agent is aware of it and can obtain a copy when it needs to be used. Further, it is your agent's or your responsibility to communicate the health care agency to your health care providers.