While there are many advantages offered by estate planning, the process involves a number of complex issues. Rushing through the estate planning process can lead to errors in important documents, which can significantly disrupt a person’s estate. The following reviews some of the most common and serious estate planning errors that people make. It is always best to rely on the skill and experience of an estate planning attorney when putting together your plans for the future.
Using Boilerplate Estate Planning Documents
Given the prevalence of online estate planning documents, it can be tempting simply download a cookie-cutter estate planning form online. Not all people, however, need the same type of estate plan. Estate planning is a very individualized process. By using a generic estate planning document, you are at risk of leaving important issues unaddressed or having your estate administered in an undesirable way after your passing. Instead, it is a much better idea to obtain the assistance of an experience estate planning lawyer who can make certain that your end of life plans reflect your wishes.
Trying to Avoid the Probate Process
Sometimes in attempting to avoid probate, people make gifts to loved ones during their lifetime. The government, however, places limits on the amounts of gifts a person is allowed to make in his or her lifetime. Failure to follow these requirements can result in facing a government audit. It is important to consider the various advantages as well as potential obstacles involved in the certain types of property transfers. An experienced estate planning attorney can guide you in the right direction.
Trying to Treat Children Equally
Parents often want to avoid playing favorites among their children, which means that they often decide that children should receive the same amount of inheritance. There is not any law stating that a person is required to treat all children in the same way and leave children equal amounts of money and property after death. Instead, consider who would most benefit from inheriting from your estate.
Not Having a Residuary Clause
A residuary clause handles everything that a person does not specifically mention in his or her will. While some people think that they will never make this mistake, it is actually quite common for assets to be left out of estate planning documents.
Selecting the Wrong Individual to Handle an Estate
Sometimes, a person who you might think is the best possible individual to act as the executor of your estate is actually not. When selecting an individual to handle your estate, choose a person who is not personally invested in the matter and who can responsibly handle the many duties of an executor or guardian.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
If you have questions or concerns about the estate planning process, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. An estate planning attorney can help you to avoid these and other common mistakes. Contact estate planning attorney Jim A Lyon today to schedule a free consultation today.