Will Estate Planning: Mistakes to Avoid
Creating an estate plan is highly essential, and it is crucial to make sure your plan has no mistakes or pitfalls. Otherwise, the plan meant to protect your loved ones may end up causing them a lot of headache and stress instead. So whether you are making an estate plan for the first time or just updating your current plan, here are some mistakes you definitely want to avoid.
Common Mistakes In Estate Planning
You might think hiring an estate planning attorney may solve all your problems – but as important as it is to trust in an asset protection specialist, it is equally as important to do your own research on trusts and wills so you understand what the lawyer is saying. In this section, we’ll look at some of the common types of mistakes that can occur when creating an estate plan.
- Failing To Do The Plan
One of the biggest mistakes an individual can make in estate planning is simply not making a plan. Some people may not prioritize creating an estate plan until it is too late, and others may think a will is as simple as a letter you write on your deathbed. When you fail to prioritize the completion of your estate plan, you’re putting the financial future of your assets at risk and put your loved ones in the danger of having to go to court.
The Solution: If you do not start creating the estate plan or it has been over 5 years since you updated it, you should contact attorneys from a will estate planning law firm to assist you in these matters.
- Failing To Discuss With Friends & Family
Even though there are exceptions to this rule, it’s an excellent idea to have a small discussion with your family members and friends. Not having had a proper conversation about your wealth and assets with your loved ones can increase the disagreements or contention after your passing. Siblings may work against each other as Executors, Trustees, and beneficiaries, destroying the peace between them.
The Solution: Set up the time to have a proper conversation about your estate planning with your partner or anyone you have named as the Trustee or Executor. Also, many are sure to notify certain individuals you have mentioned in the trust or will.
- Mentioning One Heir Or Beneficiary
Attorneys from estate planning firms say that people who make an estate plan should always list more than one heir or beneficiary for their assets. Listing just one beneficiary is not a good call, because if the beneficiary you designated for your assets passes away before you do, your assets will end up in probate court for the government to control.
The Solution: For all the policies, assets, or accounts, you have to make sure that you list more than one contingent heir or beneficiary.
- Forgetting About Healthcare Representatives Or Power Of Attorney [POW]
Name a POW or Power of Attorney [Financial or Medical] or/and a Healthcare Proxy is compulsory. It’s because these individuals will be the ones to make all the decisions when you are incapacitated. Incapacitation can mean legal incapacitation, in which the court decides that you do not have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. Or it could mean medical incapacitation, such as a coma. In the majority of the cases, these roles also get dissolved once you pass away.
The Solution: When your living will doesn’t mention the healthcare proxy or POW, you must have all the standalone documents, which will help appoint a trusted individual or a person who will make all the crucial medical and monetary decisions for you.
The best choice you can make is the decision to make an estate plan. An estate plan will protect your loved ones from court, creditors, and debtors, and prevent unwanted family disputes. Make sure you keep your estate plan updated and keep your loved ones informed about your decisions. Setting up annual reviews with an estate planning attorney is one of the best ways you can ensure your estate plan will be carried out without any issues.