Estate planning is complicated, but a well-thought-out plan can give your loved ones peace of mind and provide for them, long after you are gone. The best way to avoid estate planning mistakes is by enlisting the help of an attorney. It’s easy to forget a detail that could greatly impact you and your family. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can plan for the future with confidence. Keep reading to find out more about the most common estate planning mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Forgetting to Draft a Plan
The broadest and most common issue occurs if you neglect to draft a plan at all. Ignoring an estate plan will jeopardize your assets and your loved ones. We never want to imagine the worst. This is exactly why so many people delay facing the “what ifs” involved in the estate planning process. Leaving your family unprotected is not the solution to the discomfort you have with discussing death. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.
Procrastinating on Estate Planning
Do not procrastinate – Procrastinating is a mistake. Waiting too long to establish your plan can mean that documents get lost, assets lose value, or time itself becomes a hindrance to your health and ability to complete the plan. The best time to get your estate plans in order was yesterday. The second best time is today.
Planning Around Assets
Do not plan around your assets – There are specific types of assets you’ll typically want to omit from your estate plan in other ways. Getting too specific can mean that you miss the fact that some of these assets are temporary. For example, you may not retain UK basketball tickets for the duration of your life. It is crucial to include language pertaining to a variety of assets especially those that last.
Forgetting the Importance of Liquidity
Remember Liquidity is important in an estate plan. This means that your loved ones are able to divvy up assets according to your wishes. Asset liquidity is also important for business owners. A liquidity asset is an asset that can be converted into cash very quickly and easily. Cash and account balances belong to this category, as do tradable securities. Liquidity in an estate is required for a number of reasons: All debts need to be settled when one dies.
Forgetting Digital Assets
Do not forget digital assets- You must keep careful records of all digital investments including passwords, digital wallets, and more. Digital assets include (but are not limited to): Convertible virtual currency and cryptocurrency.
When considering assets, most people forget to consider taxes -In addition to federal transfer taxes, your estate or beneficiaries may have to pay a similar form of state transfer tax, depending on where you live. States may impose a tax in the form of a gift tax, estate tax, inheritance tax, or a combination of these
Forgetting to Have a Will of Testament
Remember a Will is important- If you are in the prime of your life a will is something you may consider unnecessary. It is hard to imagine the incapacitation of factors that could arise. If a Will is drafted and signed while incapacitated it may not be legally binding. So make a Will out tomorrow.
Forgetting to Consider Long Term Care
Consider Long-Term-Care is crucial to plan for end-of-life costs and the possibility of disability and long-term care. Many people neglect to include those things in their estate plans.
Forgetting to Choose a Power of Attorney
Do not forget to choose a power of attorney and a healthcare surrogate-The Power of Attorney is responsible for overseeing the execution of the will and in many cases, making critical decisions on your behalf. Healthcare representatives are chosen to make medical decisions on your behalf. Whether one person or more than one is selected for these positions, it is of vital importance that they be trusted individuals with your best interests in mind.
Forgetting to Include Your Funeral and Burial Wishes
Remember to include your funeral and burial wishes- Create a separate document just to detail your desires for your funeral and burial. include this in your estate plan. Consider that document before the Will. Funerals are challenging logistically and financially and neglecting these concerns in the estate plan can create problems for family members trying to settle the estate.
Not Keeping Your Estate Plan Current
Do not forget to update your estate plan once you have a plan legally documented. Things change whether they be people or assets and the only way to soften the blow is by preparing for these changes in advance. This can be done annually, semi-annually, or quarterly; for estate planning specifically, the general recommendation is at least every three to five years or when there is a life event. You may want to get your attorney’s help to go over your estate plan.
Estate planning is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Most people turn to an attorney if they’re facing legal trouble like criminal charges or a lawsuit, but the practice of law applies to estate planning as well. An estate attorney knows how to apply the law to your specific circumstances and can guide you to the right estate planning methods for you. They can also help you keep your plan up to date.
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About Helmer Somers Law
Helmer Somers Law helps individuals and businesses navigate the complex system of rules that accompany all legal situations. We are licensed to practice in both Kentucky and Ohio and offers flexible, affordable payment terms for our services. We welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and become your lawyer for life! It’s a fact of life in the modern world. There comes a time for virtually every adult American when the services of a competent, dedicated lawyer are required. Circumstances such as divorce, bankruptcy, estate planning or an income tax audit demand that your rights be protected, and your long-term interests advocated for with diligence and perseverance. When you call Helmer & Somers Law, you can rest assured that they will be.