5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 19, 2019

old-man-filling-out-formsAlmost everyone feels some discomfort when it comes to estate planning. It seems like an admission that life is finite and the end will come. While uncomfortable for most, it is the responsible thing to do to ensure your wishes are carried out when you are no longer here. However, it is not something that should be undertaken lightly.

Avoid These Common Estate Planning Mistakes

  1. Having no plan at all. There are usually two reasons why people don't do any planning. The first is a deep fear that doing such planning is an admission of their own mortality. The second is the thought that their estate is too simple to require this kind of planning. The truth is that planning for what might happen is the responsible thing to do. It ensures that your family doesn't need to worry if something happens. And, if you don't plan, the state will do it for you, and take a percentage on top.

  2. Not considering what-if scenarios. Life happens. Things change. What happens if one spouse dies and the surviving spouse remarries? How would you manage if one spouse is severely disabled and requires continuous medical care? These are real life scenarios that happen every day.

  3. Selecting the wrong person to handle the estate. Administering an estate is not a small undertaking. It requires someone who has the ability to handle the details and who will ensure your final wishes are carried out. Put careful thought and consideration into which person you name. Going with a default like your eldest child or your favorite one could end up causing chaos if that person is not ready for the responsibility.

  4. Not updating the plan as life changes. Divorce is common. Remarriage after the death of a spouse is also a common occurrence. The death of a child can also affect estate planning. When something major happens in life, it is time to readdress your planning and make sure it still works or needs updating.

  5. Not getting professional guidance. If your estate is complicated, or if you have a large amount of assets, trying to do estate planning without a professional's help is a big mistake. There are certain tax planning strategies that can help you avoid estate taxes. Trying to set up trusts or other tax-avoiding methods on your own could end up costing your estate more than you might think.

Don't put off your estate planning any longer. Talk with the experts at Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas. We can help you get your wishes solidified and keep your planning up-to-date as life changes over time.


Topics: Estate Planning