The biggest estate planning mistake anyone can make is failing to make a plan. Beyond ensuring your assets go to the proper heirs, an estate plan also helps you prepare for retirement and designates those who will make important health care and financial decisions for you in case you are unable to make them for yourself.
Here are 5 common estate planning mistakes you should avoid this year:
- Procrastination. This is the #1 asset killer, whether it’s putting off creating an estate plan altogether, or neglecting to revise your estate plan when life circumstances – divorce, remarriage, births – bring change into your life.
- Not Choosing a Guardian. This could be filed under procrastination as well – putting off the naming of a guardian because you and your spouse can’t decide on someone. However, in this case, done is always better than perfect. And you can always change your mind.
- Wrong Beneficiaries. This happens a lot – someone divorces, remarries, has children and never updates the beneficiary list for their IRAs, 401(K)s and life insurance policies. Ex-spouses benefit a lot from this one, since a beneficiary form trumps a will.
- No Power of Attorney Designations. Who do you want to make your healthcare or financial decisions for you if you can’t? A stranger? Probably not. Executing durable powers of attorney allows you to appoint who you want to carry out your wishes in case of incapacity.
- Not Enough Life Insurance. If you are important to your family as an income provider, you need to have enough life insurance to see them comfortably through a difficult financial and emotional time.
The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L., provides attorney services ranging from estate planning for young families to advanced and crisis long-term care for seniors. Contact us for your free initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.