Common Estate Planning Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them – Don’t Lose Your Assets!

Make certain your estate is protected and liability is minimal. Learn these basic steps to be protect your assets and reduce your liability. · Neglecting to provide trust provisions for minor children as beneficiaries of a will.

Not updating your plan when you move to another state or change marital status. Having a will, but neglecting the other important documents such as a durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and living will and HIPAA authorization.
Expecting that jointly owned bank accounts or other property will automatically pass under the terms of your will. · Not realizing that beneficiary arrangements and designations supersede a will for life insurance and retirement accounts.
Neglecting to update beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement after divorce or death of a beneficiary.
Neglecting to naming successor fiduciaries and personal representatives (executor) in your will or trust.
Not informing your family and personal representative (executor) the physical location of your estate planning documents.
Neglecting to keep your estate plan upgraded and renewed on a timely basis. · Having a living trust, but failing to fund it.
Altering, writing or marking on the original documents in an attempt to change a name or other information without witnesses or proper documentation.
Not seeking proper legal counsel in setting up your estate planning trust or other documents.

These mistakes only apply to those who have attempted to put in place estate planning; most people have made the mistake of not planning at all and are guilty of the error of omission. As with all important decisions, seek competent legal and tax advice. An attorney experienced in estate planning issues can be of great assistance in regards to your personal situation. If possible obtaining a second opinion makes good sense.