Avoid These 5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

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A small mistake in an estate plan can lead to gigantic consequences after your death. In fact, in many cases, estate planning may not be able to be rectified at all. There are several common mistakes that can make an estate planning defective. However, most of these mistakes can be easily avoided by reviewing your plan periodically and updating it with the help of an experienced probate attorney in Carlsbad CA.

A list of these common estate planning errors include:

1. Having no estate plan in place

A recent survey shows that about only 34% of Americans have a proper will, and about 69% have considered it but delayed. The biggest mistake that often people make is not making a plan at all. With proper planning, you can not only stay in control of your assets while you are alive but you can also control your assets in the event of your mental disability and when you are gone.

If you don’t have a plan at all, you may end up spending unnecessary fees to the state, courts, attorneys, or to a third-party lawsuit or claim. If you want to ensure that your wishes are carried out and your family is protected, approach a reputed estate planning law firm Carlsbad CA and create a plan for your assets will be held and distributed in compliance with the law.

2. Failing to seeking professional advice about your Estate Plan

The assistance of professinoal probate attorney in Carlsbad CA is invaluable when it comes to estate planning, but people often think they can draft an estate plan by themselves (or with the help of an online software). While you can analyze, search, organize, and make decisions, your risk of making a mistake are greatly increased by not having a professional assist you. A trust attorney in Carlsbad CA can help you choose between a will and a revocable living trust and put in place a power of attorney. In addition, they will make sure your trust is properly funded. There are multiple steps to creating a valid estate plan, and professional assistance is the only way to ensure you haven’t left anything out.

3. Choosing the wrong trustee or power of attorney

You should think hard about who will be best suited to act as your trustee and power attorney. Your life and hard earned assets will be in their hands. Estate planning is a two-part process. While half of the documents you draft instruct dividing your assets after your death, other half outlines how to handle your finances and medical care if you are disabled. The person you have chosen has a lot of responsibilty, so choose wisely.

4. Failing to address health care decisions

A “living will” is crucial, and it specifies the kind of medical care you do or do not want to receive if you are speechless and close to death. In addition, it is wise to put in place an Advance Health Care Directive along with a HIPAA Authorization to allow your doctors to be able to share confidential health information with people you choose.

5. Failing to Update Your Estate Plan 

Once you finalize your estate plan, it is essential to review the documents and make necessary changes periodically. Many estate planning attorneys recommend coming in for a review once every three or five years. This is the only way to ensure that your wishes reflect your recent decisions and life situation. With that said, it is smart to reach out to your estate planning attorney every time you encounter a major life change. These can include the birth of a child or grandchild, the sale of real estate, inheritance of money, marriage, divorce, or the death of someone named in your estate plan to name a few.

Poor estate planning may lead to several issues. These including potentially paying a huge tax bill, saddling your families with never-ending legal battles, and cutting loved ones out of inheritances. In order to avoid these issues after your death, get the assistance from an estate planning attorney to draft a solid estate plan.

The author works for a reputed estate planning law firm in Carlsbad CA. Along with a team of professionals, he helps clients in estate planning to avoid probate, un-necessary taxes, and legal fees. Visit https://www.rassmanlaw.com/ for more details.

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