While establishing an estate plan is important, writing one that avoids common blunders is essential. After going through all the thoughts and steps to create an estate plan, the last thing you want is for it to be filled with errors that end up causing your closest loved one stress. Here are a couple of examples of estate planning mistakes to be mindful of:
Failing to have an estate plan at all.
Writing an estate plan can seem like a daunting task, so many people don’t set aside time to do it. Not prioritizing your estate plan now, or not finishing it, means that your legacy is at risk of being handled in a way you wouldn’t prefer. Those who pass away without an estate plan may have their assets dealt with by the court system based on state intestacy law. There’s no guarantee the court will distribute assets in the manner the deceased would have wished.
Not updating the plan frequently enough.
Not only do you have to write an estate plan, but you need to edit it as life goes on. As we get older, life changes and so does our wealth and family dynamics. People may pass away, others may be born, marriages and divorces may happen, and it is wise to have an estate plan that reflects current life. Everyone should review their estate plan for edits every 3-5 years, or as new circumstances deem otherwise.
As our estate planning lawyer friends from Law Group of Iowa also know, planning for a future when you are not together with loved ones can be difficult to think about. But the best way to protect your legacy and ensure it is passed on to those you care about the most is by having a completed and legally-binding estate plan.