Seven Common Estate Planning Mistakes
Creating a will, trust, and other documents in the event that you become incapacitated are all very important steps when you embark on planning for your estate. Unfortunately, there are also many mistakes you can make along the way and these can impact you during your life, or your loved ones after you pass away. Below, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer outlines seven of the most common mistakes our attorneys see.
Failing to Update Your Estate Plan
Many people think estate planning is a ‘set it and forget it’ situation. Unfortunately, taking this approach can result in you and your loved ones missing out on the protection estate planning documents can provide. You should review your estate plan with an experienced attorney approximately every three to five years to ensure it is current to reflect updated laws, changes in your assets, and changes in your family situation.
Not Understanding the Role of Your Will
Your will only affects assets that are in your name alone. It cannot control jointly owned assets or those that have beneficiary designations, such as life insurance policies. It is important to understand all of the assets you own and how your estate plan will or will not affect them.
Not Knowing if You Need a Trust
Not everyone needs to create a trust, but they are very beneficial for many people. You should speak to an experienced estate planning attorney who can advise on whether you need a trust, advise on the assets to place within it, and the type of trust you should create.
Failing to Transfer Assets to the Trust
Having a trust is important but it will only help your loved ones avoid probate and protect your assets if you remember to title the property into the trust during your lifetime. This is known as funding the trust and an estate planning attorney can help you determine what assets you want within the trust.
Not Creating a Living Will
A living will is a document that outlines your end-of-life wishes. Not only should you include one of these within your estate plan, but you could also inform your family of your plans and wishes. Without this document, your loved ones will have the burden of making this difficult decision for you.
Failing to Consider the Cost of Long-Term Care in Your Estate Plan
Estate planning can help you meet a number of goals but one that is often overlooked is how to protect one’s assets from the high cost of long-term care. If you end up needing long-term care in the future and have not made plans for it, many if not all of your assets could be used to pay for it. When estate planning, always speak to an attorney about how to plan for such care.
Failing to Speak to an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in St. Petersburg
You can do a quick online search and find many templates and forms that claim to help with estate planning. You should never use these, though. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer will help you avoid the most common mistakes made so you and your family are protected now, and in the future. Call us today at 727-471-5868 or connect with us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.