Estate planning is one of the best ways to protect your loved ones and ensure that you’re able to leave a legacy behind when you pass away. Unfortunately, many people end up making mistakes when trying to plan for the future and those mistakes can be costly. Your trusted California estate planning attorney wants you to avoid mistakes that can delay the distribution of your estate or jeopardize your final wishes. These are a few of the most common ones people of all ages make.
Putting It Off Indefinitely
Thinking about what happens when you pass away isn’t pleasant. You want to be there for every major milestone and experience everything life has to offer. But accidents can happen and situations can change at a moment’s notice. Putting off your estate plan or not creating one in the first place makes it difficult for your loved ones to honor your final wishes. Further, it can delay the distribution of your assets like your home or investments and can increase the amount of stress your loved ones experience during an already difficult time.
Trying to Plan Your Estate on Your Own
Estate planning may seem simple, but it’s far more complex than you might think. When you try to plan your estate on your own or rely on free online services, you risk leaving out key assets or forgetting to include key beneficiaries in your will. When you work with an experienced California estate planning attorney, you’ll know that the plan will be comprehensive, thorough, and clearly outline your final wishes.
Naming Only One Beneficiary
One of the biggest benefits of creating an estate plan is being able to decide who inherits what. While it might seem like you only need to name a single beneficiary for each asset, doing so can be a mistake. It’s always a good idea to designate a backup or contingent beneficiary for each asset. This way, you’re able to decide who receives the assets if the original beneficiary passes away unexpectedly before inheriting your property.
Not Communicating With Family and Loved Ones
One major component of planning your estate is outlining your final wishes. This includes the distribution of assets, but it also covers factors like how you want your family to handle your remains, the type of funeral you want, and who you specifically want to leave things to. When others are aware of your final wishes, it will be easier to ensure that they’re honored when you pass away.
Not Updating the Plan as Your Situation or Assets Change
It’s rare for the first version of the estate plan to stay current throughout your life. This is because your finances, assets, and even your beneficiaries can change over time. Instead of creating an estate plan once and not revisiting it, you’ll want to review it once a year or make updates as soon as a major change happens. Changes may be something as simple as selling your home and buying a new one, the acquisition of new artwork, or having a child.
Work on Your Estate Plan Now
Avoiding these common estate planning mistakes will help you better care for your loved ones even if you pass away. If you’re ready to review your current estate plan or need to establish one in the first place, Jackman Law Firm can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.