Even if you have diligently planned your estate, it’s important to have a qualified attorney review it with you to ensure that you have not made any mistakes that could cost your heirs pieces of your estate that you had intended for them.
Here, I have compiled a short list of some of the most common mistakes individuals make in estate planning. Please review the list in conjunction with a review of your estate and consult an attorney if you have any questions.
Failure to Prepare
One of the most common mistakes in estate planning is a blatant failure to prepare an estate. Many people, especially the young and healthy, fail to even set up a Living Will to serve as a directive in the event that they should become incapacitated. Yet, did you know that more than twice as many 20-somethings die in car accidents than 60-somethings? Therefore, it is important that you plan your estate, no matter what your age, health or income level is.
Choose your Beneficiaries
Your beneficiaries are those individuals that will inherit your estate when you become deceased. It is important that you not only select your beneficiaries and name them, but that you choose the appropriate individuals for the estate you will leaving behind.
You may not feel comfortable setting up your estate so that a young member of your family inherits a large sum of money. How will he or she spend it? Are you sure that the purchases he or she plans to make with the estate are purchases that you would support?
If you would like to have more control over the estate that you leave behind when you die, then it is important that you set up a trust fund for your beneficiaries. By establishing a trust fund, you can allocate a certain portion of your estate towards a child’s education, first home, or other purchase. Consult with a qualified attorney for more information about how to set up your estate for your beneficiaries.
Choose your Agent
If you have or are planning to appoint an agent to carry out your Will, then make sure that you select an agent that knows you and your wishes well. Your agent will be your representative. He or she will speak for you when you cannot, so it is vitally important to your estate that your agent carries out your desires as you have outlined. Don’t just choose the eldest child or a best friend; make sure you and the agent have a clear understanding of his or her role in your estate before proceeding.
When you leave behind an estate, you are leaving behind all of your assets. You can allocate certain portions of these assets to individuals, corporations or other entities. When you allocate your assets, you either leave a lump sum, or you leave instructions for how those assets should be put to use. Make sure that your desires are clearly stated.
Also, when leaving behind your assets, you should know that a significant portion of them might be vulnerable to estate taxes. However, there are ways to leave behind an estate with minimal government taxation. It is important that you consult with a qualified attorney to discuss the most strategic methods for establishing your particular estate to ensure that your beneficiaries get the most benefit from your years of hard work and planning.
Review your Estate
Because events, such as divorce, loss of job, etc., may change your assets, it is important to frequently revisit your estate to ensure that it is always current. Many people die without reviewing their assets, so their Wills can not be carried out as they had outlined and desired. By regularly reviewing your assets, you are able to help your heirs avoid the trouble of going to court to gain control of your estate.One of the most common mistakes in estate planning is a blatant failure to prepare an estate.It’s important to have a qualified attorney review your estate and Will.You not only select your beneficiaries, but also name them.If you would like to have more control over the estate that you leave behind when you die, then it is important that you set up a trust fund for your beneficiaries.http://www.nolo.com/resource.cfm/catID/FD1795A9-8049-422C-9087838F86A2BC2B/309/