5 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Creating an effective estate plan is something that everyone, regardless of age or estate size, should have done. The specifics of the estate plan will, of course, vary greatly based on a variety of factors that your attorney will help you with. A good estate plan will provide peace of mind and help to protect your assets so they will be there for you when you need them, and for your loved ones when you are gone. Unfortunately, not all estate plans are optimized for the individual. The following mistakes are quite common and should be avoided.

Picking the Wrong Executor of Your Estate

Choosing an executor of estate is a big decision. You want to find someone who you can trust, but also someone who will be up to the task. Many people assume that their spouse or child is going to be the best option, but that is often not the case. Whomever you name as executor will be legally obligated to act in the best interest of you and your estate, so choosing a professional or someone with experience in this area often makes sense.

Failing to Take Advantage of Legal Trusts

A Will is an important part of an estate plan, but for most people it shouldn’t be the only piece. Using legal trusts is also a great way to protect your assets while still maintaining control over them today and after you are gone. There are many different types of trusts that have their own purposes. Choosing the right ones based on your goals is an essential part of estate planning.

Listing a Loved One as a Beneficiary of Your Life Insurance Policy

Life insurance is an important part of many people’s estate planning, but just buying a policy isn’t good enough. Don’t make the mistake of listing your spouse or children as the direct beneficiaries of a life insurance policy. Instead, set up an irrevocable life insurance trust as the beneficiary. This will offer your loved ones a variety of protections from taxes and other problems that can quickly burn through this type of policy.

Using a Do It Yourself Estate Plan

There are “do it yourself” options for just about everything these days, and many of them are a great way to save money. When it comes to estate planning, however, it really isn’t a good idea. Trying to do your own estate planning will result in a generic plan that fails to provide you with the protections you need. Working with an estate planning attorney will help you to get all the benefits you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get your estate plan started, or updated, right away.

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