While creating an estate plan is important, establishing one that avoids common mishaps is essential. Of course, you wouldn’t want to go through all this trouble only to realize that your estate plan wasn’t as legally binding as it could have been, was disputed by a beneficiary, or was forced to be handled by the court. Keep in mind, if you die without having an estate plan, then the court will distribute your estate based on law and not what your preferences would have been. Be sure to not commit any of these estate planning oversights:
Not Planning At All
As an estate planning lawyer from W. B. Moore Law LLC. can attest, the biggest mistake anyone could make is to fail to write an estate plan at all. It’s easy to let the task pass us by without setting time aside to do it. Who wants to think about what they want to happen after their death anyway? But by not prioritizing your estate plan, or leaving it incomplete, means you are risking the financial future of your legacy and estate. If you have yet to begin your estate plan, or it’s been a while since you’ve updated it, then it’s worth taking the time to sit down and work on it.
Not Letting Anyone Know
It is typically a good idea to let someone know about your estate plan, or have a brief conversation with your beneficiaries about what the expectations are so there are no surprises or disputes later. There are exceptions to this rule, as some situations may warrant keeping the estate plan private. Just be advised that beneficiaries may contest a will after the decedent has already passed away if they feel that they were not given what they thought they deserved from the estate. By talking with those that are in the estate plan, it allows an opportunity for a discussion to be had if needed.
Not Considering Charity
In addition to friends and family, you can choose a charity organization as a beneficiary. This means your chosen charity will receive certain assets or funds after your death. Many people appeal to the idea of giving back, especially as a way to leave their legacy behind. You may want to consider appointing a charity as one of your beneficiaries if that means something to you. You may want to reach out to the organization to confirm your charity is set up and ready for giving when the time comes. Examples of organizations you could donate to are animal rescues, homeless shelters, children’s hospitals, parks and recreation, breast cancer awareness, food banks, and more.
Whether you are writing your first plan or editing an existing one, continue to get familiar with estate planning. By being informed about common estate planning mistakes, you are more likely to avoid committing them. This is even more true if you have a lawyer who is guiding you along the way, such as a team member from W. B. Moore Law LLC., watching out for potential issues or errors.