When it comes to estate planning, it's natural to do whatever it takes to put the process in the past as quickly as possible. It's never easy to think about your death and what will happen to your loved ones once you're gone.
By avoiding common estate planning mistakes today, you can prevent a situation in which you have to make too many changes in the future. Furthermore, the right approach to estate planning will give both you and your family the peace of mind you're looking for.
Here are five common estate planning mistakes that you must avoid:
- Convincing yourself you don't need an estate plan: For example, if you're single with no children you may assume that estate planning is a waste of time. This doesn't hold true for you or anyone else. Everyone can benefit from a well thought out estate plan.
- Forgetting to make changes: As your life changes so should your estate plan. For example, divorce or marriage is likely to impact your estate plan in some way.
- Neglecting to plan for a disability: An unexpected disability can impact your life in many ways. With the right estate plan, you can protect yourself against issues associated with this, such as the wrong person being put in charge of your affairs.
- Forgetting to name a guardian for minor children: If you have children under the age of 18, it's critical to name a guardian, as this person will raise them in the event of your death.
- Choosing the wrong executor: This is the person in charge of handling your affairs once you've passed. Think long and hard about who makes the most sense, as this person has many responsibilities.
These are not the only estate planning mistakes to watch out for, but they are among the most common. When you avoid these, you'll feel better about the plan you have in place and what's to come in the future.
As you create or alter your estate plan, don't forget to pay close attention to any federal or state laws that could impact your situation. Knowing your legal rights is every bit as important as the personal decisions you make.