People make all kinds of different estate planning mistakes. Some types of mistakes are fairly rare, but there are many mistakes that people commonly make when estate planning.
Someone made a common estate planning mistake that could have been avoided. This mistake, in turn, is the reason an estate administration becomes difficult and expensive. Unfortunately, probate attorneys continue to see the same mistakes causing estate administration problems over and over again.
Recently Forbes published a list of some of these mistakes in an article titled “7 Common Estate-Planning Blunders Not To Make.”
Their list includes:
- Assuming only the wealthy need estate plans – Even if you do not think you have enough assets for an estate plan, do not assume someone else will not think it is enough to fight over after you pass away.
- Assuming your finances are too simple – No matter how straight forward your accounts seem to be, your estate can still benefit from proper planning.
- Waiting too long to plan – You never know when something might happen. You cannot plan your estate after a tragic event. It needs to be done before.
- Forgetting digital assets – An estate plan should include information about your digital accounts and property.
- What ifs? – Estate plans should cover contingencies such as divorce, new children and death. Many people do not plan for what will happen when circumstances change.
- Pets – If you have pets, you need to plan for what will happen to them after you pass away.
- Naming a trustee – Most people name a trustee without putting enough thought into the matter. This can lead to making bad choices.
This list compiled by Forbes is not all-inclusive, but it is a good start. You will never live long enough to make all of the mistakes in life, but you can learn from these common estate planning mistakes made by others. An experienced elder law or estate planning attorney can help you avoid these mistakes as well as others.
Reference: Forbes (September 15, 2014) “7 Common Estate-Planning Blunders Not To Make“