Many people put off their estate planning. They think they are too young or too poor to need one. Or they intend to make one but never get around to it. While this is the biggest error you could make, it is not the only one.
Estate planning errors could cost you and your family
While a poorly written estate plan is better than no plan at all, try and avoid the following common errors:
- Not understanding tax laws: A thorough understanding of the various tax rules is essential to ensure that your assets reach the people you wish instead of the tax office. An estate planning attorney can help you choose the correct ways to protect your assets and transfer them to your beneficiaries.
- Not leaving a paper trail: It will be a lot simpler for your executor if they have all the information they need in one place. The sooner they can complete their task, the sooner your beneficiaries will receive what you leave them.
- Not keeping your estate plan up to date: As you go through life, you should revise your estate plan every few years. Ensure it accurately reflects the assets you currently own and the people to whom you wish to leave them.
- Not making the will correctly: Each state has laws governing what needs to happen for a will to be valid. If you did not sign it in front of the requisite number of persons or file it correctly, it could be invalid.
- Not telling your family: If you want to reduce the chance your family squabbles about who you leave what when you die, discuss it with them while you are alive. It allows them to understand why you made particular decisions.
Making an estate plan does not need to be complicated. By seeking legal advice, you can make the task easier and avoid costly mistakes.