None of us is perfect. Many of us are prone to making a mistake here or there. While mistakes in some areas of life can easily be looked past, in estate planning, mistakes have the potential to result in long-lasting consequences for your loved ones.
The following will take a brief look at some of the most common estate planning mistakes.
The Most Common Types of Estate Planning Errors
One of the most frequent estate planning errors that people make is failing to create any type of estate plan at all. There are a number of reasons why individuals fail to create an estate plan, but one of the most common reasons is that some people believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy or only for those with large families.
In reality, anyone who has certain wishes for how things should proceed after they pass away or become incapacitated can benefit from creating an estate plan. Otherwise, courts will be required to make decisions about how assets should be distributed based on state intestacy law.
Failure to create advance health care directives will also result in your loved ones being forced to make difficult decisions about the level of care you should receive if you suddenly become incapacitated.
The Risk of Future Estate Planning Errors
Even if a person creates an estate plan, there are risks that errors might occur in the future. For one, decisions that a person makes during one period of life might not be the best decisions later on. Instead, update your estate plan regularly so that it reflects changes that occur in your life.
One of the most common estate planning errors that can arise due to changes in a person’s circumstances is that a chosen trustee or agent might not be the best selection years from now. The trustees you choose might end up people with whom you have a falling out or they might pass away or become incapacitated and no longer be able to perform the necessary duties.
Avoiding Mistakes During the Estate Planning Process
Even if you entirely avoid mistakes during the estate planning process, it is important to understand that life changes like births and deaths as well as changes to estate planning law can still require you to make updates to your plan. It is important to periodically review your estate planning documents.
While performing a review, you should consider whether who your appointed agents and trustees are still the best possible selections. It is much easier to take time to revise your estate plan now than it will be after your death.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
It can be difficult for a person to determine the strength of an estate plan without the assistance of a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer. If you need the assistance of an attorney in planning for your future, do not hesitate to contact attorney Jim A Lyon.