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Thinking about common estate planning mistakes

Any number of life events can get individuals thinking about the end of life. Illness, the death of a loved one, marriage, the birth of a child and even the holiday season can be triggers that inspire individuals to begin estate planning. Estate planning is a critical process which allows you to make your wishes known in regards to end-of-life care, how your assets should be distributed in the event of your death, who should assume guardianship if you and your children’s other parent can no longer care for them and a host of other issues.

If you are thinking about digging into the estate planning process, kudos to you. It is not easy to face the possibility of incapacitation and the inevitability of death. However, it is crucial that you do so in order to best protect your loved ones, honor your property-related wishes and ensure that you receive the kind of care you want in the event that you experience a medical emergency which renders you unable to communicate your wishes on your own.

When thinking about your personal estate plan, it is important to avoid several common mistakes. Your attorney can help to guide and advise you in ways which will allow you to avoid many of these mistakes. However, it is important to begin the process with these mistakes in mind so that you can make the most informed decisions possible as you and your attorney proceed.

Perhaps the most common mistake individuals make during the estate planning process is setting one’s estate plan down forever after it is initially completed. For the most part, estate planning is a living process. As life events change your familial and financial situation, it is important to have your attorney revise your estate plan accordingly. Putting this one simple tip into practice will almost certainly aid you in avoiding a host of other common estate planning mistakes well into the future.

Source: CNBC, “Trust bust: Steer clear of the 8 biggest estate-planning mistakes,” Barry Glassman, Oct. 22, 2014

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