The Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

How can I avoid making an estate planning mistake?

Your estate plan will form a vital part of your legacy. With your estate plan, you will pass down your hard earned assets to the next generation, while protecting yourself in the event of your incapacity. Mistakes made in the creation of your estate plan could cost your heirs significantly and undermine your attempts to care for your loved ones after your death. Take a look at some of the biggest estate planning disasters and how you can avoid them below.

Dying Without an Estate Plan

Fewer than half of all adults today have a will. In the tragic event that you die without ever making an estate plan, your assets will be passed through the laws of intestacy. California law dictates that your assets be split among your closest living relatives, which may include your spouse, your children, and potentially your parents or siblings. You will have no control over who receives what, and your estate may be taxed heavily or subjected to immense fees.

Doing Your Estate Plan Yourself

It may be tempting to turn to the internet to create your will on your own, but doing so may come at immense costs. DIY wills are not tailored to your individual state or unique needs. Your DIY will could be struck down for failing to follow state law. Further, your DIY estate plan, even if honored, may not adequately protect your assets or your heirs.

Failing to Protect Yourself in Your Estate Plan

A lot of the focus in estate planning revolves around your death. However, your estate plan must also aim to protect you during your lifetime. Your estate plan should consist of more than just a will. For instance, most comprehensive estate plans will incorporate a health care and financial power of attorney. With these documents, you will name an individual whom you trust to manage your finances and make healthcare decisions in the event you become incapacitated.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from an estate planning disaster by consulting with an estate planning attorney today. Your estate planning attorney will help you in developing an estate plan that allows your assets to pass rapidly and with as little cost as possible to your heirs, while protecting your needs during your life.

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.