On August 10, 2018

Planning your estate is an important undertaking, which is why you want to avoid making mistakes so as to prevent future hardships for your family after you are gone. Normally, we’d save this bit of advice for the end of the blog, but it’s too important to put it at the end. Do yourself a favor and hire a Centennial estate planning attorney to help you with your will and estate planning needs to avoid the below mentioned mistakes that can easily occur if you do your estate planning haphazardly.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of five things not to do in terms of estate planning.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Estate Planning | Centennial Estate Planning Attorney

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Estate Planning | Centennial Estate Planning Attorney

Putting it Off

By putting off an estate plan you can in fact do harm to your family. The reason being, if you don’t have an estate plan in place and you pass away – your estate may incur unwanted taxes and throw your assets into probate for a court to decide the outcome of your estate and appoint an executor and trustee, if necessary.

Oblivious to You Goals and Plan

This is another great reason to have a specialist to educate you about all areas of estate planning, because even the rich and famous rely on estate planners to ensure that a well-thought-out plan is executed. As your estate planner, these folks should clearly explain to you every aspect so that you know how to implement each aspect and explain everything clearly to your beneficiaries. For your part, you should keep either a journal or takes notes to remind you of your estate plan’s processes and basic areas.

Not Updating Your Beneficiaries

It’s best to revisit your estate plan, so that in the event a family member passes away or leaves due to a divorce, you rectify your estate plan to name new beneficiaries as needed. Again, not staying on top of this can prove disastrous in the event you die, because it could put the matter back into the realm of needing a court ruling to clear up matters. Remember, it’s not just your will that this applies to, but life insurance, retirement accounts, and other assets. Imagine now, if you will, naming parents or siblings as beneficiaries, but then a few years later you begin to have a family and forget to name your spouse and kids as your intended beneficiaries. And, something happens to you – the mess that it leaves in your wake would be very unpleasant.

Not Updating Asset Ownership

Let’s say you’ve become estranged from a brother or sister, yet you still have them named as a beneficiary on a car, house, trust, or business. Are the current owners/beneficiaries still the intended ones? Maybe something has happened to their situation and they are no longer able to fulfill the beneficiary role you had them in mind for. The wisest thing to do is revisit your estate plan every two years, and make sure the intended asset owners are still accurate.

Powers of Attorney are not Updated

This is another common mistake in estate planning. You’ll generally have two powers of attorney: a power of attorney for medical and one for financial dealings. For instance, let’s say you named one child as the financial power of attorney, but they’ve turned out to become less dependable in terms of trustworthiness or they just don’t have the organizational skills to handle the task before them. Typically, you’ll want to put a loving and caring family member in charge of your medical power of attorney, so that they can advocate for your health when you aren’t able to.

Contact a Centennial Estate Planning Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

Every estate plan is different, which is why you need the assistance of the Centennial Estate Planning Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC to help you navigate the complexities and help make it all understandable. Our approach is simple, we start by looking at each of your assets and figure out the best way to manage them for you future and legacy.


Categories: Estate Planning, Inheritances, Life Insurance, Probate