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Costly estate planning mistakes you need to be aware of

Most people in the Lee County area and elsewhere know that having an estate plan is important. However, many people still don’t have one in place. Even those people who have taken the necessary steps to get their estate plan set up sometimes make costly errors that can lead to big problems for their heirs when they do pass away. In order to avoid these kinds of mistakes, it’s important to review your estate plan often, including with a qualified professional.

One of the most common mistakes people make in their estate plan is choosing the wrong executors and trustees. By choosing the wrong person you can end up with disastrous results. Another mistake people make is failing to update their beneficiary forms. If you don’t review and update these forms you might end up leaving your assets to someone whom you regret, like an ex-spouse. You could also leave someone out, like a child that was born after your plan was in place.

Another common mistake is not having alternative beneficiaries, which is important in the event something happens to the primary beneficiaries before they are able to receive their inheritance. Two other common, but costly mistakes, are not telling others about your desired plans and choosing the wrong powers of attorney or agents.

The bottom line is having an estate plan in place is important. However, making sure you do it right is just as important. Therefore, if you still don’t have an estate plan in place, or it’s been a while since you’ve updated your plan, then you might want to meet with an estate-planning attorney soon.

Source: Investing Daily, “Key estate planning mistakes you need to avoid,” Bob Carlson, July 24, 2014.

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