Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Common Estate Planning Mistakes


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The most common mistake in estate planning is simply not having a plan at all. However, as people begin to consider how they want to distribute their assets upon their death, or who they would name as power of attorney, many people make similar mistakes during the process. The entire estate planning process can be a legally complex one, and oftentimes there are questions a person may not even know to ask. It is always advisable to contact an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your legal rights are protected with respect to your assets.

Failure to Make Documents Official

Oftentimes, people will simply write down their wishes regarding the distribution of their assets following their death. However, if you fail to make these documents official, there may be legal battles and challenges among potential beneficiaries and heirs following your death. Make sure that you always execute all of your documents correctly. Additionally, every time you make the decision to revise a document following a birth, death, or divorce in the family, execute the new revisions correctly as well. Failure to do so can make your estate planning documents invalid legally.

Failure to Consider Your Disability 

Most people only consider how to handle their assets and estate following their death, and consider a Last Will and Testament. However, there are unfortunate circumstances in which a person may become permanently or totally disabled within their life. There are estate planning documents that will allow you access to your own assets during the course of your lifetime, prior to your death. Make sure to understand the full gamut of legal documents that can be used within estate planning to ensure that you take advantage of all legal options available to you.

Failure to Include a Residuary Clause

If you are working with an experienced estate planning attorney, they will likely include this clause. However, you should always examine your estate planning documents to see if there is a residuary clause that governs any assets or property that may not have been properly identified or distributed unintentionally.

Failure to Consider Income Taxes

Everyone knows the saying that the only two things that are sure in this world are death and taxes. Your estate may be taxed after your death depending on how you execute your estate planning documents. Make sure that your estate planning documents are structured in such a way that you are not unnecessarily taxed more than your estate needs to be under the law.

Failure to Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

One of the most common mistakes in the estate planning process is when a person does not take the time to visit with an experienced estate planning attorney. We are here to help. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney at the law firm of Giro Law at 201-690-1642 to help you avoid any mistakes in your estate plan and ensure that your wishes will be carried out regarding your estate following your death.


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