Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

How can I protect my family through estate planning?

Your family is your most treasured asset.  Many of us strive our whole lives to set aside money and assets to ensure our family will be cared for after our deaths.  Without a comprehensive estate plan in place, however, your hard earned assets could go to the wrong people or be taxed heavily.  Our California estate planning lawyers discuss some estate planning mistakes that you should avoid in order to protect your assets and legacy.

  1. Not having an estate plan:  Perhaps the greatest estate planning mistake you can make is not having an estate plan whatsoever.  While all of us are loath to consider the topic of our own death, death is inevitable. Those who die without an estate plan in California will lack any control over who receives their assets.  Additionally, your assets will be subject to immense taxes.  Do not put off estate planning any longer.  Take action to preserve your legacy now.
  2. Not updating your estate plan:  Life changes are expected.  As your family changes and your assets build, it is important to update your estate plan to reflect your current needs.  An outdated will could cause probate confusion or result in heirs receiving assets that you no longer wish to be included.  Contact your estate planning lawyer to ensure your estate plan is up to date after any major life event.
  3. Creating your own estate plan:  The internet has given rise to several websites that claim to offer do-it-yourself estate planning.  Making your own will is risky as any will that does not meet stringent California laws could be struck down in court. Further, your basic estate plan may fail to take advantage of potential tax benefits through the use of gifting and trusts.  Your estate planning attorney offers your best chance at crafting a strong estate plan that will protect your family no matter what the future holds.

These are just a few of the many mistakes that Californians can make when it comes to estate planning.  Your estate plan is an intricate part of your legacy.  Do not leave your legacy to chance.  Contact an estate planning attorney to get started with your estate plan today.



Brian Chew, the managing partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, and veterans’ benefits. By devoting his practice to estate planning matters, he has founded a firm that strives to provide exceptional service to their clients by working closely with individuals and their families to create comprehensive and customized estate plans. For the past twenty five years, Brian has served thousands of clients in the matters of estate planning, wills and trusts. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Brian Chew here.