Estate planning is a smart step for people of all income levels. It does not matter what you earn or the size of your estate, planning for the future, protecting your assets and planning for the protection of your loved ones is a smart effort. However, some people make mistakes in their estate plan, and the result is complications and problems in the future.
Often, people are not aware of the mistakes and missteps they are making with their estate plans. Errors and mistakes can result in the invalidation of part or all of your will, or it could lead to complications with your beneficiaries. If you have not put a plan in place or you have not reviewed your plan in a while, it can be helpful to learn about common missteps so you can avoid them.
What to avoid
People draft estate plans with the best of intentions in mind, yet they often make mistakes because they don't understand what they are doing or they are unfamiliar with the legal issues that could impact their plans. Some of the most common mistakes people make include the following:
- Failing to name a person as a beneficiary on retirement accounts or insurance policies
- Forgetting to change the beneficiaries on certain accounts and policies after a divorce or death of a spouse
- Failing to name specific types of investments in your will
- Selling property to family members for a low cost as a way to remove that property from your estate
- Not thinking through the repercussions for your heirs of estate planning decisions you make
- Not planning on unexpected things to happen, such as a disability
The above are just a few examples of how well-intentioned plans can lead to problems for beneficiaries. It will save everyone time, money and stress to simply work carefully to avoid missteps when drafting or adjusting your estate plan.
The right help
One of the most efficient ways to avoid issues with your estate plan is to work closely with a California attorney who can help you navigate the challenges and issues that arise in the estate planning process. A review of your situation can help you understand what steps you need to take to either fix existing problems or avoid new ones down the road. It is worthwhile to ensure your interests and those of your loved ones are secure for years to come.