A well-designed estate plan not only communicates your desires for the way your assets are divided after you are gone, but it also minimizes potential problems for your heirs. Creating an estate plan is an important step every person should take. As you are moving forward with this process, avoid some of these common estate planning mistakes:
1. Outdated Trust: You never know what the future timeline looks like. You set up the estate plan based on current life circumstances, but it’s likely that your situation could change in the future. For example, old, outdated trusts could lead to higher taxes for beneficiaries if the trust isn’t set up based on the latest laws and regulations.
2. Documenting it in Writing: Even though you’ve talked to family members about your wishes, it’s common for disputes to arise when these details aren’t in written form. A verbal agreement isn’t enough to shield your family members from potential legal problems. Plus, your beneficiaries could have disagreements about how the assets are handled. Record all of these details in writing so there is no question about your desires.
3. Legal Protections: A variety of circumstances could cut into the inheritance, which is why you need to be proactive with legal protections. Language can be added to the trust to protect against bankruptcy, lawsuits, and even future divorcing spouses.
4. Procrastinating Your Estate Planning: The biggest mistake you can make is not doing anything at all. Even if you are in great health and you don’t think you’ll need estate planning for many years, you never know when life will take an unexpected turn. Serious consequences can arise when a person passes away without an estate plan. Taking action right now gives you the advantage of protecting your loved ones from risk in the future.
Potential mistakes are higher when attempting a DIY approach for estate planning. If you want an optimal outcome, then it’s important to be proactive in finding a local attorney for assistance. At Miles & Hatcher, LLP, we can provide you legal assistance in drafting trusts and estate planning. Our team is here to offer the personal advice you need to ensure a great outcome. Call us today to learn more: (909) 481-4080.