One of the biggest reasons to speak with an estate planning attorney is to ensure that you avoid some common mistakes. These mistakes, while they may seem minor, can lead to major headaches for your loved ones after you are gone. Since you do not want to add to the grief that they will already undoubtedly be feeling, today we will talk about some of the most common mistakes that people make when making an estate plan. Remember that speaking to an experienced estate planning attorney is a vital asset in avoiding these as well as many other estate planning pitfalls.
Estate Planning Mistakes
Not creating an estate plan
Indeed, the biggest mistake you can make is not making an estate plan at all. No matter the quantity or quality of your assets, it is important that you make some kind of plan in the event that something unforeseen should happen. Your estate plan is there to protect you, your assets, and your loved ones in making sure that your beneficiaries are provided for and that your wishes are fulfilled.
Not considering your options
Estate plans have many facets. There are many options available to you. Speaking with an estate planning attorney about your assets, your wishes, and tax implications to your loved ones will help to determine what the best course of actions will be for your own estate plan.
Not evaluating the tax implications
Even estate plans face the possibility of taxation. In order to ensure the best possible outcome for your beneficiaries, you must speak with your estate planner to properly structure your plan in order to minimize the tax implications, both federal and state (where applicable), and maximize the benefits to your loved ones.
Not updating your plan
Things change over time. If you made your estate plan early, kudos to you for your preparation. However, as things change within your family and assets, it is important to reevaluate your estate plan to be certain that it is still providing the best solution for you and your loved ones.
Being too private
Estate planning, by its very nature, is something that many people want to play close to the chest. It is a good thing to keep most details about your plan between you and your estate planning attorney. However, what you should not keep private are the details about where your plan is kept and who is given proxy over certain details. In the event that you become incapacitated and are not able to share that information when the time comes, you want your loved ones to have access to your plan.
Not choosing the right proxies
In addition to sharing the details of your plan’s location, you also need to be certain that the person or people you choose as proxy are people whom you trust and who are capable of carrying out your wishes. If you do not trust the person now to accomplish the task, then do not assume that they will be trustworthy later on. It is best to choose someone else who you do trust.