Estate planning serves a valuable purpose. Done correctly, estate planning can include all of a person’s end of life goals. If mistakes are made during the estate planning process, however, an individual can end up facing countless obstacles including paying more taxes and uncertainties about beneficiaries.
In an effort to avoid some of the most common will writing mistakes, this article reviews some of the important steps that should be followed during this process.
# 1 – Listing Specific Assets
By mentioning specific assets in a will, a person can create a number of substantial obstacles. For example, a person might not even have the asset any longer at the time that they die. This might mean that the deceased individual’s estate will be required to purchase the item, which might be significantly higher in price than it once was.
# 2 – Failure to Update Beneficiary Designations
Failure to make sure that beneficiaries in a will are updated is a common mistake. Some of the most common reasons why beneficiaries might change include births, marriages, and death. No matter the reason why you might decide to change a beneficiary, it is important that this information is reflected in a will.
# 3 – Ignoring Writing a Will Altogether
It is a universal truth that everyone will die someday. By avoiding this truth and not creating a will, an individual greatly increases the chances that their family will end up facing challenges and uncertainties following the will creator’s death. Instead, it is important to realize that wills are merely a preparation for end of life rather than indication that a person is about to die.
# 4 – Not Fully Considering a Gift
There are a number of stories about people who want to make a specific gift, but who failed to fully consider the numerous obstacles that could arise. As a result, the deceased person’s family members ended up facing a number of unanticipated challenges. Fortunately, a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you determine if you are likely to encounter any obstacles along the way with a gift.
# 5 – Leaving Assets Directly to a Minor
It is understandable that many parents want to make sure that their young children are taken care of no matter what happens. Leaving assets directly to a child or children, however, is often not the best method. Instead, it is a better idea to leave any assets to a trusted adult who can make sure that the money is safely held for the child or spent in non-frivolous ways.
# 6 – Not Planning for a Beneficiary’s Death
While it might seems like an obvious mistake, some people fail to take into consideration what will happen in case a beneficiary dies. In many cases, it is necessary to name at least one other alternate beneficiary in a will.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
Because will writing is particularly complex, it is often helpful to obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to make sure that your estate plans are successful. Our law firm has helped a large number of people create wills that help them achieve a number of unique estate planning goals.