Examples of Common Estate Planning Mistakes
There are some people who attempt to create their estate plans without any legal guidance. While this is technically possible and can save you some money, it also opens you up to many more potential mistakes that could cause unnecessary headaches and often eventually costs your estate much more than you saved making a do-it-yourself estate plan.
Here are just a few examples of some of these most common estate planning mistakes.
- Beneficiary mistakes: There are a variety of mistakes you could make regarding beneficiaries that could hamper your estate plan. A failure to plan for the death of a beneficiary can be problematic—you should always have a backup beneficiary listed on accounts. It is also a big mistake to not update beneficiaries after a marriage or divorce.
- Being overly specific with investment gifts: Your investment portfolio will likely change frequently, both in terms of the stocks you own and their values, so rather than naming specific investments as bequests, you should consider dividing up your investment assets by general value or percentages of your investments.
- Failure to fully protect minors: Beyond just dealing with guardianship issues, it is also important that you protect the assets you leave to minors. You should strongly consider having a trustee or other assigned person to manage the assets you leave behind until the minor child reaches adulthood or even later.
- Not including residuary clauses: Residuary clauses are designed to deal with all assets not specifically named in your will or items you don’t even own yet. It’s a good idea to add in a residuary clause to neatly tie up the rest of your estate.
- Putting it off: It’s understandable to not want to think about your own mortality, but the longer you put off your estate planning, the bigger of a risk you take.
For more information about avoiding common estate planning mistakes, contact an experienced lawyer in Tampa, FL at BaumannKangas Estate Law.