Five Of The Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes
Making the decision to draft a will and create an estate plan is a very responsible one. Doing so will make sure that your loved ones are less stressed and taken care of during one of the worst times of their lives. Unfortunately, slapping together an estate plan is not enough to ensure your family is protected. You must ensure you do it properly and that you do not make some of the most common mistakes. Below, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer outlines what these are so you can avoid them.
Failing to Use a Lawyer when Creating Your Plan
There are many do-it-yourself forms and online software programs that will allow you to create an estate plan on your own. Unfortunately, using these opens the door for many mistakes to be made and one small error could result in your entire estate plan being deemed unenforceable by the courts. An estate planning lawyer will make sure that your estate plan is created properly so it will provide all of the protection you think it does.
Failing to Update Your Plan
You may think that after you create an estate plan, you can leave it until the time comes that your family needs it. This is not the case. Life changes frequently and when it does, it will probably affect your estate plan. Review your estate plan with your lawyer every three to five years to ensure that no new events, such as births or deaths, have impacted your plan.
Not Understanding Your Will
Wills are important documents, but they are also largely misunderstood. For example, many people do not realize that their will only affects assets that are in the name of the person named in the will. It will not impact jointly held assets. Speak with your lawyer about what your will entails to make sure you thoroughly understand what it says.
Failing to Create a Revocable Living Trust
Trusts do not have to go through the probate process, so it can make distributing your assets easier after your death. Revocable living trusts are not always appropriate, though. Speak to your estate planning lawyer about whether or not a trust is right for you. If it is, make sure you transfer your assets to the trust, which is called funding the trust. Otherwise, it may not serve its intended purpose.
Not Creating a Living Will
A living will is an important document that will outline your end-of-life wishes. This document will ensure your wishes are met even if you do not have the capacity to make them known. Create a living will and then make sure you inform your family of your wishes.
Call Our Estate Planning Lawyer in St. Petersburg Today
Creating an estate plan is one of the most important things you will ever do, but you should not do it alone. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer will ensure your plan includes everything it needs, and that it will provide the protection and security you need. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or contact us online to request a consultation with our skilled attorney.