One of the biggest estate planning mistakes to avoid is neglecting it altogether. Without some sort of plan in place, you and your family can lose control over everything from how your assets are distributed to who will care for precious loved ones. Luckily, we find that this scenario is rarely what our clients want to have happen after they die.
So if more and more people are finally getting their affairs in order, are there any other potential pitfalls to avoid? The answer is a resounding yes. At Nelson Law Group PC in Flower Mound, we carefully guide you through the estate planning process and help you make thoughtful and informed decisions. Because once you’ve decided to put a plan in place, the last thing you want is to make a costly mistake that you might not learn about until it’s too late.
Below are 5 estate planning mistakes to avoid:
An outdated plan
Next to not having a plan in place at all, not keeping your plan updated is one of the more egregious estate planning mistakes you can make. Think of all the things that happen over time (additional children, increase or decrease in wealth, divorce, death, new business ventures, declines in health). Wills, trusts, and even a power of attorney are not meant to be drafted and promptly thrown into a drawer for a later date. They are living, breathing documents. As your life and circumstances change — and they will — so should these pivotal documents.
For many older adults, the topic of their own mortality is so painful that they refuse to discuss it at all. And even if they ultimately decide to get their estate planning affairs in order, they may procrastinate until it’s too late. For younger adults, the topic is something they think is reserved only for the older crowd. So they procrastinate, too. The problem is that while you are procrastinating, the unexpected happens. Waiting until another day will only make things more difficult to plan for.
Not planning for incapacitation
Estate planning isn’t only for the day you die. What if you are in a car accident that results in you being in a coma? Who will run your business? Who has the power to manage your personal affairs and pay your bills? Thinking that becoming incapacitated for any reason won’t happen is one of many estate planning mistakes to avoid. Your estate plan should be flexible enough to plan for both the expected and unexpected.
Choosing the wrong trustee
A trustee is pivotal to ensuring your wishes are carried out in death or incapacitation. But choosing who that person(s) is should be a carefully thought out decision and not based solely on age or how long you’ve known them. Your trustee should be familiar with the demands of the job or have a background in whatever duties you are asking them to do. They should also be willing to learn quickly and step in to make tough decisions.
Doing your own estate planning
We’ve written in previous blogs about the availability of fill-in-the-blank templates online for wills, trusts, and other important documents. While this is a quick and inexpensive option, the odds that you will have a document that can’t fully protect your family and won’t stand the test of time exponentially increase.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
When it comes to protecting your family’s future for years down the road, it is imperative to have an estate planning attorney in your corner at all times. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A Nelson, click here.