Common Mistake Planning Mistakes

Home / Blog / Estate Planning / Common Mistake Planning Mistakes

Common Mistake Planning Mistakes

Estate Planning Lawyer

An estate plan is an important component to planning your lasting wishes in the event of your incapacitation or death. The documents that make up an estate plan can provide important information to your loved ones when you are no longer able to communicate your wishes. It’s important that when developing your estate plan you make sure that you have covered all of your bases. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to make mistakes during the estate planning process. An estate planning lawyer has the ability to help you put together your estate plan while avoiding these common mistakes:

Forgetting to Review Designations to Beneficiaries

Many people forget to regularly review their beneficiary designations on their accounts. Make sure that your accounts are regularly reviewed and updated as needed. Such accounts may include:

  • Retirement Accounts
  • Checking Accounts
  • IRAs
  • Life Insurance Policies

One of the most common mistakes people make is forgetting to update their beneficiary designations. Should you forget to update your beneficiaries or add a beneficiary at all, you risk your assets going to the wrong person.

Leaving Assets to Children

Most people likely want to leave the majority of their assets to their children. You may do so by clearly outlining which assets should go to each beneficiary. Directly leaving assets to children may be a mistake for a number of reasons. For example, your children may not be prepared or responsible enough to inherit the vast amount of your wealth. Creating a trust for your children may be an attractive alternative. Not only may doing so help to keep wealth within your family, but it also allows for you to provide clear direction regarding your wishes. You may require prior to gaining access to their trust that your child first finishes school or reaches a certain age.  

Creating an Estate Plan on Your Own

With so many resources available, it can be tempting to consider creating your estate plan on your own. Forgoing the help of a professional could cause a number of problems. Not only do you stand to exclude key elements from your estate plan, you also risk developing an estate plan that is not aligned with state laws. As a result, all of your hard work may be for not. It’s recommended that you seek professional guidance when creating an estate plan. An estate planning lawyer can make sure that you have made the proper financial considerations and, that your estate plan is adequate when the time comes for it to take effect.

There is No Estate Plan

A lack of an estate plan can pose a number of problems. What many do not realize is that should they pass away without an estate plan, the impact on loved ones can be far-reaching. When there is no will or estate plan at the time of someone’s passing, a person has died intestate. As a result, much of the estate will be required to pass through the probate process. When this occurs, the majority of decisions regarding your estate will be left up to the courts to decide. Ultimately, they will appoint an administrator or executor to manage your affairs. In some cases, this may be a close family member. Often the appointed party may be a spouse, child, or sibling. Other situations may warrant the need of a court-appointed professional administrator to oversee your estate. When there is no estate plan, you will have no say in who takes care of your children or how your property and assets are distributed.

Have you yet to create your estate plan? Don’t put it off any longer. Without an estate plan, your family will be left to decipher what your final wishes may have been. Additionally, you risk losing the ability to communicate your wishes after you have passed away. An estate planning lawyer Bloomington, IL offers can help you by reviewing your estate and in making sure that you have incorporated all key elements that should be included in your estate plan.

Thanks to Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into estate planning and common mistakes to avoid.