Estate planning errors have the potential to cost you and your family time and money, while also adding unnecessary stress to your life. And that’s why you should have a plan in place for protecting against any and every error, even those that don’t appear to be a big deal.
Here are four common estate planning errors that continue to cause trouble for many people:
- Waiting too long: When you’re young and feeling your best, it’s easy to tell yourself that you have time to create an estate plan in the future. The problem with this is that the weeks turn to months and months turn to years, and you’ve yet to take action. You’re never too young to create an estate plan.
- Ignoring everything but your assets: Yes, your estate plan should clearly outline what will happen to your assets upon your death. But that’s only one part of a comprehensive estate plan. It should also touch on things such as incapacity planning, pet planning, long term care planning and Medicaid.
- Forgetting to review your estate plan: You feel good after you’ve created an estate plan, especially if you assume that it’ll serve you well for the rest of your life. However, most people come to find that they need to alter their plan throughout their life. This is why you should be open to reviewing it often, especially if you go through a major life change such as divorce or having a child.
- Assuming your family will pick up the pieces when you die: You’re not required by law to create an estate plan, but don’t assume that things will work out the way you want. Even if your family is willing to work through the mess that’s left behind, the court system is in charge. You can only hope that things work out for the best.
On the plus side, it’s not difficult to protect against these common estate planning errors. As long as you devote the necessary time to the process, you’ll always feel good about where things stand.
There’s no replacement for estate planning, so learn more about your legal rights and take steps to give yourself and your family peace of mind.