Estate planning is always best done with a professional because so many pieces come into play that you may need to consider. A legal team well-versed in estate planning, including the consequences of leaving out vital information, can advise you on what to include in your plan. What are some common mistakes in estate planning? And who will pay the price for making such mistakes? Let’s find out.
5 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid
The best thing about estate plans is the ability to edit them when someone new joins the family, or other major life changes occur. If you already have an estate plan, it is important that you review it every few years.
Here are some major mistakes in estate planning:
- Not Planning for Incapacity: Your estate plan may include arrangements for your assets after you pass away, but what if you are no longer in a state of mind to make crucial decisions? No one plans for dementia or a terrible accident. Be sure to include plans for incapacity.
- Not Naming Backup Executors: If your estate plan names your eldest son as the executor of the estate, and that person does not want the job when the time comes, you should always have a backup. Perhaps they are dealing with their own family trauma or need time to process your death. A backup executor and powers of attorney are always a good idea.
- Forgetting About Death and Taxes: Do not forget to plan for taxes on the transfer of property in your estate plan. You can put your property in a trust and use other methods for controlling the taxes. But you will always be better prepared when you know about death and taxes.
- Leaving Out Funeral Plans: Does your estate plan include your wishes for your end-of-life service? For example, would you like to be cremated or buried? Do you want any musical numbers or special speeches during the funeral service? What about flowers and catering? You can include all of these details in your estate plan.
- Failing to Communicate with Appointed Guardians: If you have minor children and have named guardians in your estate plan, do the guardians know about it? Always give people a heads-up so they are ready to step up to the task if the unexpected occurs.
Take note of what a comprehensive estate plan will look like when all is said and done. The more thorough you are during the process, the less complicated things will get after you pass away or become incapacitated.
The first step to being prepared for the unexpected is being aware that something needs to be done. Shoup Legal is here to help. We can help you create an estate plan that checks all the boxes. Contact us at (951) 445-4114 or email us at [email protected] to speak with a member of our team.