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Estate Planning Attorney Explains Common Errors in Estate Plans

Oct. 15, 2016

As an estate planning attorney, one of the most frequent questions people ask me, is what are common errors that people make when planning their estate. Contrary to popular belief, estate plans are not only for the rich and the famous. If you have anything of value, like a bank account, a car, or a home, your beneficiaries can benefit from you having an estate plan in place.

An estate plan can help to maximize the value of the estate that you will be passing on to your heirs and beneficiaries, while also helping to prevent long-term family feuds or discontent among your heirs. It gives you the opportunity to make an informed decision about who handles your assets once you are no longer able to do so yourself.

If you are not sure of where to begin with estate planning, then call my office and schedule a consultation. As an estate planning attorney, I can guide you in the right direction. If you do not have an estate planning attorney yet, are considering planning your estate, or simply have questions, I recommend that you call or visit my office to begin planning your estate.

In my experience as an estate planning attorney, the single largest mistake people make is not planning their estate early enough in life. When you have passed on, and your heirs and beneficiaries are the ones who are responsible for your estate, not having thoughtfully planned out what will occur after your death can create serious challenges for them.

By taking the time to sit down with an estate planning attorney, you will be able to thoughtfully lay out the plans for your estate along with your wishes for your personal and financial affairs. As a result, your personal and financial affairs will be handled properly since you will leave detailed instruction.

Another common mistake made on a frequent basis is people planning their estate and then forgetting to update it. Changes happen all the time within a family or business structure. Births, death, divorce, property acquisitions, and other decisions that occur over the course of a lifetime need to be included in an updated will. Ensuring that the assets you leave behind are given to those that you intend, relies on you updating your will.

Unfortunately, if you have an old will, your most current wishes may not be included in the document. It does not take long to update your will, especially if you are working with an estate planning attorney. Taking a few minutes to make sure that your will reflects your current desires is an important step to a seamless transition once you have passed on.

Finally, some people make the mistake of appointing the wrong person to be the guardian of the estate. As an estate planning attorney, I know that very often, spouses, children, and close relatives may or may not be the best choice to manage your estate. These people are deemed to be too close to you and could create grievances with other members who are also named in the estate. Having someone who is not personally invested to objectively handle the extensive duties and demands may be a good idea.

To discuss your estate in greater detail, call and schedule an appointment.

NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.