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Estate planning mistakes to avoid

On Behalf of | May 31, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is necessary for everyone. It ensures your assets are managed based on your wishes after you pass away. However, many people make mistakes that can lead to unnecessary complications and financial losses. 

Here are some common estate planning mistakes to avoid.

Not having a plan

One of the biggest mistakes is not having an estate plan at all. Without a will or trust, state laws determine how assets are distributed. In many cases, this may not align with your wishes. This can also lead to lengthy and costly probate processes.

Failing to update your plan

Major life events can make it necessary to update your estate plan. Failing to update your plan to reflect these changes can result in unintended consequences. Regular reviews and updates ensure your plan remains relevant and effective.

Not considering taxes

Estate taxes may reduce the assets that your heirs receive if you do not plan for them properly. Many people overlook the importance of tax planning in their estate strategy. Working with a financial advisor or tax professional can help you minimize tax liabilities and maximize the inheritance for your beneficiaries.

Ignoring beneficiary designations

Who you have designated as your beneficiary on certain accounts, like your insurance policy, and other financial instruments will be followed before what is included in your will. Failing to keep these designations up-to-date can lead to assets going to unintended recipients. Make sure you update your beneficiary designations when necessary. This will ensure they are aligned with your estate plan.

Taking time to learn and avoid these mistakes will help you through the estate planning process. It will also ensure that your assets are handled according to your wishes. Key steps in effective estate planning are regularly reviewing and updating your plan, considering taxes and planning for all types of assets and situations.