Barbara Buxton, a fellow elder law attorney, recently posted an article with common mistakes made during the estate planning process. We believe these tips to be helpful and beneficial to anyone in this position.
Ten Common Estate Planning Mistakes
- Not creating more than a Will in your estate plan.(You don’t create a Revocable Trust because you believe only people with large estate need a Trust.)
- Holding assets jointly with children (both for children’s easy access to the money and for an “inexpensive” estate plan to avoid probate.)
- Leaving your assets to someone with the “understanding” that it will be used for the benefit of another, your child or dependent parent, for example
- Not appointing a pre-need guardian for minors; or not creating a Special Needs Trust for disabled children.
- Not considering asset protection strategies for leaving your assets to loved ones.
- Not appointing competent Personal Representatives and/or Successor Trustees.
- Not creating an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust to own life insurance on your life.
- Not reviewing your estate plan every 2 to 3 years or after significant changes in your family or the law.
- Not giving important documents such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to your estate planning attorney for safe keeping.
A Properly Designed Estate Plan May:
- Provide instructions for your care and that of your loved ones in case of your disability;
- Be effective if you move to or own property in another state;
- Avoid probate;
- Keep your affairs private and confidential;
- Control all your property, including pensions and life insurance;
- Allow you to leave explicit instructions for the care of your loved ones;
- Create protective trusts for your young children, special needs children, adult children, and grandchildren; and
- Provide federal estate tax planning and save professional fees and court costs.
category: Wills & Trusts