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Avoid these 3 common estate planning mistakes

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When planning for the future, estate planning helps ensure your assets undergo distribution according to your wishes. However, even with the best intentions, people often make mistakes that can impact their loved ones and legacy.

Understanding these common errors can help you navigate the process and safeguard your estate for the future.

1. Neglecting to create a thorough plan

A common estate planning mistake involves failing to create a comprehensive plan. Some people believe that having a will is sufficient. However, a will alone may not address all aspects of your estate. Without additional documents such as trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives, important decisions regarding your finances and medical care may lack resolution in the event of your incapacity or death.

2. Forgetting to update your plan

Another common oversight is neglecting to update your estate plan. Life is dynamic. Significant events, such as marriage, divorce, births, deaths or changes in financial circumstances, can impact your estate planning needs. Failing to revise your plan could result in unintended beneficiaries, outdated provisions or assets not going where you intend. Regular reviews can ensure your plan remains current and aligned with your goals.

3. Overlooking beneficiary designations

While estate planning often focuses on wills and trusts, many people overlook the importance of beneficiary designations on retirement and other accounts. These designations supersede instructions in your will and impact who receives these assets when you die. Failing to update beneficiary designations or designate contingent beneficiaries can lead to unnecessary delays in the probate process.

Estate planning affects your financial and personal well-being, but many people make avoidable mistakes that have significant consequences. Covering your bases can help you navigate the complexities of estate planning while avoiding common errors.