5 Critical Estate Planning Mistakes

Did you or a loved one make any of these five critical estate planning mistakes? Sadly, most Americans are indifferent to estate planning - at best - or completely ignore the issue - at worst. While no one wants to think about their own incapacity or death, this is precisely why many avoid the topic of estate planning altogether. When it comes to estate planning, however, there are just some mistakes that you cannot afford to make. Below are five of the most critical estate planning mistakes.

  1. Not having any estate plan. This is the biggest mistake, especially among younger professionals or young parents who assume they don’t need one. Dying intestate - or without an estate plan - will assure local law decides who ends up with what assets when you are gone. Even the care of your minor children is up to the courts.

  2. Failing to properly handle paperwork. This is typically in the form of not updating beneficiary designations on insurance and retirement accounts. Some people may be surprised to learn that beneficiary designations override instructions left in a will or trust.

  3. Not reviewing documents regularly. An estate plan should be reviewed every two to three years, when there’s a new child or grandchild, a significant increase or decrease in assets, or moving to a new state. This ensures you are protecting your loved ones’ future, because circumstances change over time.

  4. Not funding (aligning your assets with) your trust. A trust relies on assets being aligned correctly in order to be effective. If you pass away and leave an unfunded trust behind, a probate case - what you were trying to avoid by creating a trust in the first place - is required to change the title of assets to your trust post-death.

  5. Too much given away, too soon. As much as 50 percent of inheritances are squandered shortly after being received, meaning that it is important to space out inheritances over the course of the beneficiary’s lifetime to reduce the risk of this happening.

At the Estate Planning Center we know that you want to be fully prepared for the future. In order to do that, you need to know that your estate plan will work the way you want when it needs to. When you procrastinate and don't plan, you are likely to feel anxious about the future. We believe that the family shouldn't be burdened because there is no estate plan in place.

We understand how confusing estate planning can be as you try to figure out the best way to protect your family and your assets. We have helped hundreds of clients just like you create estate plans that are customized to their specific needs and unique circumstances.

Here's how we do it:

  • We hold an initial listening meeting

  • Together we design your plan

  • We implement the plan

So schedule a consultation. Then you can stop feeling unprepared for the future and instead know your family and assets are protected.

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