If there is one thing you can do while you are still living to ensure things go according to plan after your death it is to make sure that you dedicate some of your time to estate planning. Even as important as this step is, it is all too easy to make mistakes during the process. In order to make sure that what you leave behind is delegated as you wish, you have to work to avoid three very common mistakes during the estate planning process and after the process is complete.
Estate Planning On Your Own
All over the Internet you can find downloadable content and information about attempting your own estate plan without the aid of an attorney. It is a common misconception that if something is written on paper after your death than it is as good as written in stone, but this is not always the case. Without the aid of an estate planning attorney and witnesses on your behalf, your do-it-yourself estate plan can be nothing more than scraps of paper that are left behind. Professional planning is the only way to truly ensure that your final wishes are followed once you are gone.
Trusting the Wrong Individual
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to estate planning is to designate the wrong person as your trustee. The overall trustee of your estate will have the most say so on your behalf once you are gone and should be a reliable individual. It is easy to assume that an elder child or family member should be the person in charge, but this is not always the case. Someone who is outside of the circle of family is often a better choice because they do not have emotional ties to the family.
Estate Planning Without Updates
You may create an estate plan now and live another 20 years. therefore, estate planning is not just a once and done deal. This is an ongoing process that should be handled with an attorney. During the time after your initial plan, a lot of things can change. Certain people in your will may pass away or your assets can grow or change. If additional amendments are not made, you will be leaving a lot of guesswork for the person in charge of your estate.
Making plans for your estate after your death is an intelligent choice without a doubt. However, estate planning is a serious process that must be handled professionally and with the aid of an attorney who can help ensure your final wishes are carried out.