Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do. Properly planning for your estate can ensure that when you pass away, your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are cared for. If things go wrong, your assets may not be distributed how you want and your friends and family may face undue stress and tension, among other potential consequences. Read on to find out the top 3 mistakes you can make when it comes to estate planning and how to avoid them.
What are the Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes?
- Only making a will: some people create a will and assume they are done with the estate planning process. This is definitely not the case. While a will is an incredibly important document, it will not be enough to cover all your bases. For example, you may want to create a power of attorney. This will allow you to put a loved one in charge of your decisions in the event that you are unable to make them. You might also want to create a health care directive, which states your decisions regarding your health care and what to do in the event that you are incapacitated. There are lots of other documents to consider creating, that all do different but important things.
- Failing to update your estate plans: many people create an estate plan and never look at it again. This can be tempting. When an exciting life event occurs, like the birth of a child or a marriage, the last thing you want to do is update your will, but it is important that you do so. Your life will change and your estate plan should reflect that. Some common reasons to update your estate plan include the birth/adoption of a child, a marriage, a divorce, and the death of a loved one mentioned in your plan, among others.
- Doing it yourself: many attempt to take on the estate planning process on their own. It may seem like a quick, cheap, and easy option. But, a DIY estate plan is likely a bad idea. Your documents will need to be created and filed in a certain way in order to be considered valid. If you do it yourself, there is a high probability that an issue will arise down the line. To avoid this, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney.
If you are ready to begin the estate planning process, reach out to a skilled New York estate planning attorney.
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The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.