When it comes to estate planning, it's critical to prevent mistakes. Even a minor slip-up can cost your loved ones time and money in the future, all while adding stress during an already difficult time.
While there are hundreds of potential estate planning mistakes, these five are among the most common:
- No estate plan: It's easy to put off estate planning for the time being. It's easy to think that you'll have enough time to get everything in order in the future. However, if you continue to procrastinate, it could eventually come back to haunt you. If you need an estate plan, there's no better time than now to create one.
- Forgetting to review your estate plan: Estate planning isn't something you do one time and then forget about. You must regularly review your estate plan for any changes you need to make. For example, if you marry or divorce, you'll want to review your estate plan and make the necessary changes.
- Ignoring incapacity planning: Don't turn all your attention to what happens to your assets upon your death. Incapacity planning is a big part of estate planning, so creating a living trust and/or appointing a power of attorney is a good idea.
- Neglecting to name a guardian: If you have children under the age of 18, it's critical to name a guardian. This is a person who agrees to raise your children should you and your spouse pass on.
- DIY estate planning: With the rise of technology, DIY estate planning has become more common than ever before. People are doing this for many reasons, including the hope of saving time and money. The problem with DIY estate planning is that you could make a simple mistake that causes big trouble. It's best to consult with a legal professional, as they have a thorough understanding of estate planning and federal and state laws.
With the right approach, you're in position to avoid these estate planning mistakes. By doing so, you'll end up with an estate plan that gives you and your loved ones peace of mind.
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