Estate planning is never as easy as it sounds, as you need to make a variety of decisions that will impact you and your family now and in the future.
As long as you take your time and understand exactly what you're doing, you can be confident in your ability to create an estate plan that suits the needs of you and your loved ones.
Preparing your family
It's critical to avoid estate planning mistakes, as a misstep can put you and/or your family in a difficult position at some point in the future. Here are five common mistakes to avoid:
- Thinking you don't need an estate plan: You can assume that your assets will end up with the right person or people upon your death, but if you don't have a will or trust there is no way of knowing for sure.
- Neglecting to update your estate plan: Over time, your estate planning wants and needs will change. For example, if your spouse passes away before you, it's important to determine the impact it will have on your estate plan. This will lead you to change the beneficiary on your life insurance policy.
- Forgetting to plan for disability: A good estate plan touches on more than what happens after you pass on. It also helps you plan for disability, such as by appointing a power of attorney and creating a living trust.
- Forgetting to name a guardian: Knowing that your minor children will be safe in the event of your death will give you peace of mind. Don't assume that your children will end up being raised by the right person. Make sure this happens by naming a guardian.
- Do-it-yourself estate planning: There are many things you can do yourself, but estate planning isn't one of them. Taking this approach can lead you to make costly mistakes. Worse yet, it could result in a giant mess for your family to clean up after your passing.
If you're concerned about making one of these estate planning mistakes, gather all the necessary documents and review your current situation. This will help you take immediate action, which will put your mind at ease.
Browse our website and blog for more information on estate planning, including but not limited to wills, trusts, trust administration and probate.