Common Type of Estate Planning Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

As estate planning professionals, we encounter a number of situations and are very familiar with the most common types of estate planning errors that people make.


No matter if these mistakes are the result of laziness or lack of care, errors in estate planning have the potential to create a number of substantial obstacles. For example, if a will is declared invalid, your estate might be administered in a way that does not conform with your wishes.


Hopefully by reviewing some of the most common types of estate planning mistakes in this article, you will be able to avoid them.


# 1 – Failure to Have an Estate Plan


Even though many people recognize the advantages of having an estate planning, many people die without any type of estate plan.


If you die without a will, your assets will be divided according to New York probate law.


# 2 – Failure to List an Alternate


Every successful estate plan should list alternate individuals who will serve as executors or trustees in case something happens.


If only one individual is named and something happens to this person, your estate plan might be left incapable of being distributed in accordance with your wishes.


# 3 – Failing to Update Beneficiary Designations


There are many people who forget to update beneficiary designations in insurance policies or other documents that are separate from a will. In many cases, people assume that all assets are controlled by a will, but this is not true.


Failure to appoint a beneficiary can result in assets being distributed in a way that you did not intend.


# 4 – Not Revising Estate Plans after Life Events


When life changes like moves to a new states, births, divorces, or deaths occur, it is important to appropriately revise your estate plan.


Despite this, some people fail to appropriately update their estate plans after these occurrences, which leads to their estate plans becoming either invalid or administered in a way that does not reflect a person’s wishes.


# 5 – Naming a Minor as a Direct Beneficiary


Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to receive property directly from an estate. If you want to pass assets to minors, a guardian must be appointed to hold this property.


As a result, many parents by considering trusts or other types of estate planning tools besides will to achieve their goals.


# 6 – Failing to Adequately Fund a Revocable Trust


To avoid the numerous complications that can arise after a person’s death and to avoid having details about your assets become part of the public record, it is possible to create a living trust as part of an estate plan.


Failing to take these steps can result in the administration of your estate costing your family and loved ones.


Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

To make sure that you have the strongest estate plan possible, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled estate planning attorney. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial case evaluation.

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