It's never too early to start planning for your estate, and hiring an attorney is the best way to make sure that everything goes according to plan. Unfortunately, many people make costly mistakes when it comes to estate planning, which can end up costing them a lot of money and stress in the long run. Here are four of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to estate planning:
1. Not Having a Will
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to estate planning is not having a will. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to your state's laws of intestate succession, which may not be what you would have wanted. Even if you don't have a lot of assets, it's still important to have a will so that you can designate who you want to receive your belongings. Without a will, there's no guarantee that your belongings will go to the people you want them to go to.
2. Not Updating Your Will
If you already have a will, it's important to keep it up-to-date. As your life changes, your will should change with it. If you get married, have children, or acquire more assets, you'll need to update your will to reflect these changes. Otherwise, your will may not be valid. You need to hire an attorney to help you make these changes so that they're legally binding.
3. Not Creating a Trust
A trust is a legal entity that can hold assets on your behalf. There are many different types of trusts, but the most common type is a revocable living trust. This type of trust allows you to designate how you want your assets to be distributed after you die, and it can be changed at any time. A trust can be a good way to avoid probate, which can be costly and time-consuming.
4. Not Planning for Incapacity
If you become incapacitated, someone will need to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf. If you don't have a plan in place, it's likely that the court will appoint a guardian to make these decisions for you. This can be costly and time-consuming, and it's not always clear who the court will appoint. By creating a durable power of attorney, you can designate someone you trust to make these decisions for you.
These are just a few of the mistakes that people make when it comes to estate planning. To avoid these mistakes, it's important to work with an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you create a plan that meets your unique needs and protects your assets. Contact an estate planning attorney today to get started.