Are you concerned about tackling the estate planning process? Are you worried that you could make a few mistakes that cause you and your family harm? Are you hoping to adjust your approach in order to avoid this situation?
Any estate planning mistake, even one that is minor, could cost you and your family time and money. Furthermore, some mistakes, such as forgetting to create a will or trust, could lead to serious problems for your loved ones after your passing.
Here are a few estate planning mistakes that individuals will generally want to avoid:
- Waiting too long to get started. When you're young and healthy, you might not put too much stock in the estate planning process. Instead, you might assume you'll have plenty of time for this in the future. However, you don't want to put this off, even if you are young, because you don't know what will happen tomorrow. It's better to be safe than sorry.
- Forgetting to update your estate plan when necessary. There are times when you may need to make changes to your estate plan, such as if you get married or have a child.
- Neglecting to think about yourself. You might spend so much time thinking about where your assets will end up after your passing that you could risk overlooking the potential for a disability while you're living. Incapacity planning is typically a big part of a solid estate plan.
- Selecting the wrong executor. This is the person who will handle your estate after you pass on, so you need to make a careful decision.
- Overlooking the importance of professional guidance. There are professionals, such as legal professionals, who can assist you with the different aspects of the estate planning process. Using DIY options may not properly protect your assets and beneficiaries from legal challenges. It's generally better to retain qualified professionals to ensure that everything is in place.
These aren't the only estate planning mistakes to be aware of, but you may wish to keep them in mind as you think about what to do next.
Once you understand what you should and shouldn't be doing, it's easier to avoid common mistakes that have plagued others before you. Combining professional help with knowledge of your legal rights can give you confidence in the estate planning decisions you make.