You create an estate plan with the best intentions, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always find yourself on the right track. It’s easy to make mistakes along the way, and if you do it can harm both you and your loved ones.
Before we discuss some of the most common mistakes, it’s important to understand what estate planning entails. There’s more to it than what to do with your assets upon your death. Here’s a passage from our website to clear the air:
Estate planning is the preservation and the distribution of your assets, both during your life and upon your death. It is accomplishing your personal and family goals and easing the management of your financial and legal affairs, as well as minimizing taxes if your estate is large enough for taxes to be of concern. When we talk about an estate, we mean all assets of any value that you own, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, personal property and even your personal effects. An “estate plan,” generally, refers to the means by which your estate is passed on to your loved ones on your death.
So, with that in mind, let’s review some of the many mistakes you need to avoid at all costs:
- Neglecting to create an estate plan: You know you need to do this, but you keep putting it off for some reason. Maybe you think you’ll have time in the future. Or maybe you’re afraid of the questions you’ll face. Regardless of why you’re neglecting this process, it’s a mistake that you want to overcome as quickly as possible.
- Forgetting to focus on more than your assets: Yes, you need to decide what will happen to your assets upon your death, but don’t let that guide 100 percent of your thinking. You also need to focus on details such as incapacity planning, retirement planning, and long term care (and that’s just a few points of consideration).
- Rushing just to get it done: You know you need an estate plan so you make rash decisions and hope that they’ll work out. Don’t do this. If you’re taking the time to move through the process, you might as well take the time to make sound decisions that will benefit you and your family, all while providing peace of mind.
With so many potential mistakes lurking, it’s critical that you know exactly what you are doing at all times. When you consult with us, we’ll make sure that you never go down the wrong path. We’ll guide you from start to finish, while also helping you alter your plan when necessary.