Estate planning is an important responsibility that provides for your loved ones after you pass. Unfortunately, too many people make simple mistakes that could cause their family additional hardships.
Here are common mistakes that you should avoid when estate planning.
Assuming you do not need a will
You may assume you do not need to start preparing yet if you are still relatively young. However, unexpected accidents or illnesses could leave your loved ones without any understanding of your wishes.
Many older adults also fail to properly prepare. According to Forbes, almost half of all Americans over the age of 55 do not have a will.
Forgetting to update your plans regularly
You should update your estate documents regularly to reflect changes in income or major life events. For example, after the birth of a child, you will want to use your will to appoint a guardian. Other life events that may impact your end-of-life wishes include:
- Getting married or divorced
- Moving to a new state
- Losing a loved one
- Starting a new job
Missing important details
Many people leave out critical information in their wills or other estate documents, such as failing to appoint a power of attorney or healthcare proxy. These representatives make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
Doing it yourself
Unless you are an expert on your state’s estate planning and tax laws, you may run into problems if you attempt to create your will yourself. An advocate can help you correctly prepare the documents that will properly provide for your family.