Creating an estate plan is different for everyone. Your plan will depend on your goals for your future, your finances and what you want to happen to your property after you pass. The most basic step in any estate plan is to draft a will, which will allow you to outline your wishes for your assets and other matters after your death.
Drafting an estate plan is a positive step in obtaining security for the future, but often, people are unaware of simple mistakes they committed during the process. Errors and missteps can lead to complications for loved ones and beneficiaries when it is time to settle the estate. If you have a will or you are planning on getting your affairs in order in the near future, you will want to learn about common estate planning mistakes so you can avoid them.
Avoid these missteps
People are often unaware of the common mistakes they’ve made in their estate plans. These issues may not come to light until family members are trying to sort through things after a loved one passes away. It is worthwhile for every person with an estate plan to avoid the following common mistakes:
- Leaving assets directly to a minor – There can be complications when leaving assets directly to a minor without outlining how a guardian or adult should manage those assets. If you want to leave something to a minor, there are more effective ways to do this.
- Not considering consequences – Sometimes people make decisions with their estate planning that can have unintended tax consequences or leave loved ones dealing with complex financial concerns.
- Making mistakes with beneficiaries – Even if your will says who gets what, it is important to make sure that the beneficiary designations line up as well. Otherwise, money and assets in certain accounts may not end up where you want it to.
These are a few examples of how mistakes with estate planning can have long-term consequences. When making your plans and thinking about the future, you will find it beneficial to keep your focus on what makes the most sense well into the future.
Plan the right way
Mistakes can derail even the most well-intentioned estate plans. With the right help, you can make plans the right way the first time. Before you make plans or decide things that could affect your future or the interests of your loved ones, you may want to discuss your plans with an experienced Washington estate planning attorney.