Everyone, no matter who you are, needs to have a carefully made estate plan. If you put it off, you might find yourself in a tricky situation. Here are some of the most common and damaging mistakes that people tend to make when doing major estate planning.
Not Discussing Plans With Your Family
It’s good to have everybody on the same page. Good communication means that you can avoid problems. Sometimes it might be because there is a factor that you’ve simply forgotten to consider that a loved one points out to you. You also can avoid potential issues, like if a loved one were to have a misconception about what you are planning to leave them. It can help avoid unpleasant surprises at the reading of your will. If your family or friends know how to move forward in the event of your untimely demise, that means that there is a smaller likelihood of legal problems with your assets.
Not Writing a Will
You need to make sure that your assets are protected as you pass them on. There are multiple ways that you can go about this, each method having its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. A trust is one route that you should consider since it provides unique protections from the government and from debt collectors. At the very least, you need a will. This is a legally binding document that you will put together with a lawyer in order to ensure that your assets are properly passed on. If you don’t have one, your assets will likely go to probate. Probate can take months or years to complete.
Not Knowing Your Options
Most people have heard of a last will and testament. Many of them don’t know exactly what it entails or how much it will cost. Most don’t know what their alternatives are. Laws relating to estates and estate planning will vary from state to state. For all these reasons and more, you need to be educated. Talk to a local lawyer who specializes in estate planning. You can also use the internet as a basic resource to learn more about the basic legal process in your state.
It’s important to be informed. It’s also important to do what you can now in order to be prepared. While it may not be pleasant to think about, it’s important to consider the realities of a sudden tragedy. Would your family be financially equipped to keep going without you? It’s better to prepare sooner rather than later.
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