When creating an estate plan, you should do everything possible to anticipate potential problems so you can avoid them. You can learn about the common errors of estate planning before you start. This way, you know what to do and what not to do when drafting a will, trust, power of attorney or another document.
The errors you should know about
Some of the most common errors that people make when creating an estate plan include:
- Not doing your research
Death and legal documents are two of the most unpleasant things in the world to think about. However, the sooner you look into them, the better. Take the time to learn about the various estate planning documents and what they do so you know what will happen to your estate after you die.
- Not hiring an attorney
There are several websites where you can find do-it-yourself legal documents. However, using these sites is not wise. Many courts will not uphold estate plans unless an attorney drafted and reviewed them.
- Leaving documents outdated
If you already have an estate plan, you should update it regularly. If you do not, then it might not reflect your true wishes if you pass away suddenly. Every few years or after a major change in life circumstances, you should update your beneficiaries, assets, property and other important details.
- Putting things off until the last minute
Far too many people believe that estate planning is only necessary for the sick and the elderly. Every adult over age 18 should have a will at the very least. You never know what will happen in life, and these documents can protect your loved ones in the event of your unexpected death.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when preparing to get your affairs in order and sit down with a lawyer to make an estate plan. But the payoff is well worth the effort. Once you have a legally sound plan in place, you can rest assured that the people your assets will pass to the right people and your relatives will have a guideline for what to do in case of an emergency.