5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

It’s a famous phrase that failing to plan is the same as planning to fail, and this anecdote is especially true in the realm of estate planning. The most important step you can take with an estate plan is the first one: getting started, and therefore, the most important estate planning mistake of all would be to do nothing. But what are the other common mistakes people make in estate planning? This article will summarize typical estate planning mistakes to avoid with source material based on.

Failing to prepare for incapacity. 

Many people only think of an estate plan as how to divide their assets after they die, but preparing for incapacity is very important, as you never know whether disease, accident or age may take away your ability to care for yourself. It should identify the people you want to authorize to make important decisions on your behalf with regard to your money, your healthcare, your end of life wishes, etc., and then the estate plan should enable them to do so. 

Not including funeral and burial wishes. 

Don’t assume your family members know your wishes. If you have strong feelings about certain issues, such as cremation vs. burial etc., those wishes need to be communicated in your estate plan. 

Not considering tax implications of transferring property. 

The famous saying that nothing is certain except death and taxes is true, but different estate planning tools have various tax consequences, so it’s important to think through the tax implications when your estate plan is created.

Not naming contingency decision makers. 

The unexpected happens, so you need back-up decision makers in your plan. You and your spouse may perish in an accident together or a child may predecease you. Don’t assume that your family will remain unchanged as your estate plan ages. 

Not keeping track of beneficiary designations. 

It is important and can be somewhat challenging to make sure your estate plan matches the information in all your accounts and assets. Make sure that you keep the information relating to each specific asset matching your intentions. 

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

An excellent way to avoid making estate planning mistakes is to use the services of an experienced estate planning attorney. Here are the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience with estate planning and will help you think through the potential challenges or various scenarios that may arise to create a plan that will accomplish your goals. Contact us at 707-451-4502.