Estate planning is an important aspect of life that many people tend to overlook. It involves planning on what will happen to your assets after you die and ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when planning their estate, and these mistakes can be costly. In this blog post, we’ll highlight common pitfalls in estate planning and provide advice on how consulting an experienced attorney can help individuals avoid these costly errors.
Not having a will or trust
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to estate planning is not having a will or trust. If you die without a will or trust, the state will decide how your assets will be distributed. Your assets may end up going to people you didn’t intend, and it may cause disputes among your family members. A will or trust gives you control over your assets and ensures that they go where you want them to.
Failing to update your estate plan
Another mistake people make is failing to update their estate plan. Life is unpredictable, and circumstances change over time. For example, you may divorce, remarry, or have more children. If you don’t update your estate plan, your assets may end up going to people you no longer want to benefit. It’s essential to review and update your estate plan regularly, ideally every few years, to ensure it reflects your current wishes.
Not planning for incapacity
Another common mistake people make is not planning for incapacity. You may become incapacitated due to illness or injury, and unable to make decisions for yourself. If you don’t plan for incapacity, your loved ones may have to go to court to obtain guardianship or conservatorship, which can be a costly and lengthy process. By creating powers of attorney, you can appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Failing to consider taxes
Estate planning also involves tax planning. If you have a large estate, you may be subject to estate taxes. Failing to consider taxes can result in a significant amount of your assets going towards taxes, leaving less for your loved ones. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you develop a plan that minimizes your tax liability and ensures more of your assets go towards your intended beneficiaries.
Not consulting an attorney
Perhaps the biggest mistake people make in estate planning is not consulting an attorney. Estate planning laws are complex, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can be costly to you and your loved ones. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs, ensure your estate plan complies with state laws, and update your plan as necessary.
Reach Out to Us
Estate planning is an important aspect of life that many people tend to overlook. Whether you’re just starting your estate plan or need to update your existing plan, avoiding these common estate planning mistakes can save you time, money, and stress down the road. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide you with the guidance you need to navigate the complexities of estate planning and ensure your wishes are followed. Request a consultation with an attorney today to see how Kalicki Collier can help.