Estate Planning: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Estate planning is something many people put off for when they are older. Unfortunately, they may not reach this stage, leaving their family to try and take care of all the issues they have left behind.

Taking the time to work with a professional in this industry can help you feel secure about the future. While you may not want to think about a day when you are no longer around, it’s something that happens, and preparing now can help save quite a bit of stress for your family down the road.

If you are ready to create an estate plan, make sure to avoid the common mistakes found here.

Not Handling the Paperwork Properly

One of the most common mistakes made when estate planning is not updating the beneficiary designations on their retirement accounts and their insurance policies to align with the estate planning documents they have. What many people don’t realize is that the beneficiary designations that are listed on the account will trump any instructions left on a trust or a will.

Not Reviewing the Documents Carefully

Another issue is if you fail to review your estate documents each year. You will likely have changes that need to be made every three to five years. Also, looking over the documents is the perfect opportunity to confirm who you have named as the executor of your estate, as well as your powers of attorney for finances and health care.

Not Having Any Estate Plan in Place

Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is not having an estate plan at all. This is one of the most common situations for young professionals. They just assume they don’t need any plan in place because they don’t yet have much wealth, or enough assets to justify creating a plan with an estate attorney.

Not Having a Will in Place

While wills aren’t absolutely essential for an estate plan, they are something that everyone needs. A will can help your family avoid having to go through the courts to have your property and assets dispersed. It will also ensure the proper guardian for your children is appointed.

Using Forms Online

While online forms are convenient and affordable, they aren’t always legal. It’s best to have a professional overlook the creation of estate planning documents. If you don’t do this, and pass away, your family may be left in the same position they would have been in if you had no estate plan in place, at all.

The best way to avoid the issues found here is by utilizing the services of a professional estate planning attorney. They can review your situation and what you want when you pass away and create the necessary, legal documents. These individuals will also be your partner for life, which means they can update the documents as needed and ensure everything remains accurate.

Remember, not all professional services are created equal, so take your time to find the right person for the job.