Estate planning is very important and, once the plan goes into effect, you have no way to change it. That’s why it’s so important to get it right the first time and avoid making mistakes that are going to compromise the integrity of that plan.
Unfortunately, most people are going through the estate planning process for the first time, so you may have no idea what those mistakes look like. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant ones so you know what to avoid.
Choosing the wrong people
Many parts of estate planning mean you have to choose people to do certain tasks. You have to pick someone to be an estate administrator, for example. If you want to set up a guardianship for your child while they’re still a minor, you have to choose a guardian. You may also have to choose agents for a medical or financial power of attorney. It’s very important to make sure that you get the right person, that you talk to them in advance and that they are both capable and willing to take on the job.
Not making a plan in the first place
Perhaps the most common mistake is simply that people don’t have an estate plan. The majority of Americans haven’t made their plan yet, although you do see the percentages get slightly higher as people get older. But life is unpredictable and estate planning is not just for the elderly. Don’t put it off for so long that you don’t ever get a chance to make your plan.
Not updating the plan after major changes
Even if you do have an estate plan, it’s still important to update that plan when anything big happens in your life. For instance, maybe you got divorced or you got married. Maybe grandchildren were born, or perhaps you sold a business. Any time there’s a major change, you need to update your plan to match.
As you get started with your estate planning, be sure that you avoid these mistakes and take the time to look into all of the necessary legal steps to get the plan right. With proper planning in advance, things can go smoothly for your family.