Rick Davis & Associates
Common Mistakes in Estate Planning
The most common mistake people make in estate planning is not having a plan at all. Estate planning is not just for wealthy individuals with lots of assets. Almost everyone has at least some assets, such a bank account, car or home that should be the subject of an estate plan. Estate plans are crucial for resolving legal questions or disputes among family members when someone dies.
Your estate consists of any property that you own at the time of your death, no matter how small. This could include real estate, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, as well as all of your personal property such as jewelry, artwork, furniture, and automobiles. Your estate plan helps determine who will receive this property after your death. Estate plans can also be helpful in minimizing the amount of estate taxes that will need to be paid, providing for funeral expenses, and dictating your medical wishes.
So maybe you’ve taken the first step towards estate planning and you had a will drafted years ago. Another common mistake in estate planning is failing to update your will periodically. There are many changes that occur overtime in business and family dynamics and updating your will is crucial to address these changes and ensure your property is going to those you intended it for. Likewise, it is important to choose the proper person to handle your estate and to make changes to the executor of your estate as needed.
Additionally, there are many tax benefits to estate planning that people often overlook or fail to take advantage of such as making tax free gifts and taking advantage of federal exemptions. So, don’t make the mistake of procrastinating or trying to go it alone. Estate planning is a complex process and should be done as soon as possible, no matter how old you are. An experienced attorney can help you draft your will and determine the estate plan that is right for you.