Much of what estate planning lawyers do is help people prevent future problems. Making choices about your future is the heart of estate planning, but you have to do so in a way that is clear, legally enforceable, and with as few errors as possible. If you make mistakes in your plan or use the wrong tool, the choices you make might lead to problems. Here are four of the biggest estate planning mistakes in Finger Lakes NY people commonly make.
4 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes in Finger Lakes NY
Mistake 1. Making a plan and forgetting about it.
If there is a truism in estate planning, it’s that no one likes to think about it. Estate planning involves asking questions about what might happen to you if you become sick, and what will happen to your family and your property after you’re dead. These aren’t exactly pleasant thoughts.
And while addressing these topics is important, you also need to recognize that what you think now might change in the future. It’s vital for you to always review your estate plans every so often. Taking the time to go over your plan and decide if the tools you created meet your current desires is essential to getting the most out of your plan.
Mistake 2. Making a plan without help.
Yes, estate planning attorneys cost money, but it’s money you’re investing, not money you’re wasting. There’s nothing that requires you hire an estate planning lawyer, and you can create estate planning tools on your own. Unfortunately, estate planning is such a broad topic that most people have no idea where to begin. Even creating something as simple as a will can be much more complicated than it appears. Every piece of your plan needs to fit together to form a whole, and if you don’t have experience in doing this, doing it yourself can lead to a number of problems.
Mistake 3. Ignoring beneficiaries.
One of the main issues in estate planning is inheritance planning. Deciding how you want to leave your property is vital, but it’s also an area prone to mistakes. For example, people who ignore beneficiary designations and transfer-on-death property often create estate plans that leave behind tarnished legacies. If you forget about beneficiaries, or forget to include them in your inheritance planning, you can inadvertently leave unequal inheritances when you wanted to do just the opposite.
Mistake 4. Ignoring estate planning.
We’ve probably repeated this time after time on this blog, but you can never say it enough; you need an estate plan. Ignoring estate planning issues and not wanting to think about it will not make these concerns go away. Estate planning is the responsible thing to do, and it’s something that your family will be glad you did when the time comes.
Latest posts by Michael Robinson, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- Beneficiary Designations, etc., Aren’t a True Substitute for a Trust - April 17, 2019
- What Are 529 Plans and What Are Their Advantages? - April 17, 2019
- Have You Heard of These Trusts? - April 16, 2019