Do you want to avoid estate planning mistakes? There is an incredible number of options for how to handle your estate planning. An American comedian named Jack Benny left instruction in his will that a single rose should be delivered to his wife every day.
With so many possibilities on the table, it's easy to fall into estate planning mistakes. Almost everyone will make at least one of these most common mistakes if they don't take special care not to. Read on to learn more about how to handle your estate planning!
1. Not Preparing an Estate Plan
The biggest and most common mistake is simply not preparing an estate plan at all. A little time spent today can save you and your family a lot of time tomorrow.
Funerals are a difficult time for everyone involved. it's important to eliminate as many possible sources of stress as you can. Making a careful estate plan can help your family navigate this difficult time without added difficulty.
2. Neglecting Your Will
Even if you have already prepared your will, it is almost certain that it will need updating before your passing. With every change to your family or business, your will gets a little bit more out of date. The longer you go without updating it, the harder it will be to handle if you die unexpectedly.
Make sure to get your will updated. It might also be best to set a recurring time for you to make any new updates that are necessary. A lot of our clients like to review their will once a year, we strongly recommend you do it.
3. Missing Out on the Benefits of Gifts
You can reduce your estate taxes by giving gifts. We recommend you work with an estate planning attorney that has experience with taxes, to make sure you are using the gifts benefit correctly.
4. Putting Your Children's Name on the Wrong Documents
If you put your children's names on deeds for a type of property today it may create future taxes issues and it may be recognized as a gift. If the same children receive those deeds as an inheritance as part of a well planned estate planning they will not be gifts anymore. A Living Trust may also protect your family from malicious creditors or bad marriages, and save your assets for the future.
An estate planning attorney can also be called a probate lawyer if they help with probates as well. Avoiding probate, either using a trust or a deed, is one of the main concerns that we see in estate planning consultations.
5. Picking the Wrong Person to Manage Your Process
Not only is it important to find somebody trustworthy for creating estate plans, they must also be skilled. In most cases, an estate planning lawyer will make a better executor of your estate than a family member. They can help manage the complexities of life insurance trusts and other complicated legal structures. They also work as a neutral part to help mediate potential conflicts that may surge between family members.
6. Missing Out on New Opportunities in the Law
The laws changed in 2011 to allow both spouses to use a full federal exemption. This exemption can be in excess of ten million dollars per spouse as of 2021. If your strategy is still based on the old laws, make sure to consult a lawyer to understand how to take advantage of that.
Avoid the Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes
The estate planning attorneys at Citadel Law Firm hope you learned something helpful here about how to avoid estate planning mistakes. Your whole life's legacy should be treated with the utmost care and skill. Get in touch with us for a free consultation to learn more about how you can preserve your legacy! You can call (480) 565-8020 or click here to schedule your free consultation now.