When you own property that has to fall into another’s hands upon your death you are bound to feel the burden of responsibility. How do you secure your estate after you are gone – without upsetting friends and family. More importantly, what common mistakes should you avoid while making those plans?
We took a closer look at the types of mistakes estate planning gives rise to. Here are our top five things you ought to avoid when making your will.
What 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Estate Planning
Here are the top five mistakes that are commonly made when people set out to plan what happens to their estate:
1 – Not Planning for your Estate
By far the most common problem we encounter is people that have died and left no plan for what happens to their assets. Many people assume they don’t have enough of an estate to plan for… but if you have one home and more than one child you really ought to designate how that is going to be split up, before you shuffle off this mortal coil, so to speak.
2 – Not Using Trusts
If you need to leave money to a minor who will have no financial control until they come of age; then in the meantime you leave yourself open to those funds being misappropriated. You could stipulate that the money is collected by a guardian that you trust but even this isn’t foolproof. Use a trust and don’t worry about manipulation after you are gone.
3 – Not Updating your Plan
Say you get married and have five kids, but you still haven’t updated your last will. Then you forget about it and don’t make it home one day. Your partner and your children could be completely forgotten about, with your estate being left to the cat you had at twenty who isn’t alive anymore. You see the problem here? It happens more often than you would think…
4 – Not Factoring Tax into the Equation
The IRS will still charge income tax to your inheritors after you are gone. Being dead does not exempt you from income tax. Be careful to take it into account to avoid short-changing anyone. Leave too small an amount and you may find it totally swallowed by the tax. That’s not how you should be remembered.
5 – Not Understanding it all
Estate planning is difficult to wrap your head around if you don’t have a financial brain. Especially for the elderly, the infirm, or those with limited capacity. Not understanding the plan is a sure-fire way to getting things mixed up after you are gone. Some attorneys will try to overcomplicate things to make a little extra money. It’s partially their job to do so; but if you don’t understand what is happening it isn’t particularly pleasant for anyone involved.
Need to Get Your Affairs in Order?
Our Celina estate planning attorney at The Cawlfield Law Firm, PLLC can ensure your affairs are taken care of when you are no longer around. For safe, secure estate planning from a reputable firm, choose us, and let our family help your family.
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