Estate planning is an essential way to protect your assets after you’re gone. Not only will it determine asset division and the beneficiaries, but they also help to protect your family from disagreements, legal issues, and tax liability. As you navigate through the process, keep in mind these four costly mistakes so you can avoid them.
1: Waiting Until the “Time is Right”
Procrastination when it comes to planning for your own demise is natural. However, waiting until it’s too late will leave the future of your estate and decisions about your assets, children, property, and power of attorney in the hands of the courts. Not only could this fail to follow your wishes, but it can be an enormous burden and enormously stressful for your family.
2: Naming Your Children as Joint Owners
Your assets should not be co-owned by your children in your estate documentation. Doing so could leave them liable for any number of creditors. An estate planning attorney can guide you on how to name your children most effectively in your estate planning.
3: Failing to Update Your Documents
Many people create wills when they have children or when they get married or divorced. If you have a will or estate planning in place, but it’s from years or even decades ago, it’s time for an update. Reviewing your documents every five years or so will ensure the financial information and the beneficiaries are still accurate and still reflect your wishes.
4: Carefully Consider Your Trustee
Naming a qualified trustee is critical. Not only should the individual have the capacity to manage a trust or an estate, but they should also be able to handle any conflicts or disputes that may arise.
Estate planning takes time, experience, knowledge, and expertise. Put your trust in the capable hands of the team at McCutchen McLean, LLC.