Don’t Do It! Five Common Mistakes In Estate Plans

young couple meeting financial advisor for home investmentProtection is power! Estate planning is an excellent measure taken to protect beneficiaries from prying individuals. It helps eliminate family quarrels, protect children, and minimize taxes. Comprehensive estate planning requires a professional to embrace digitization, digital notarization, and the use of digital assets. Yet, you must understand the mistakes to avoid during this phase to help smoothen the process.

Not Having a Comprehensive Plan

Many people fail to plan their estate. According to a recent survey from *****(link if you need it –****, 68% of people do not create an estate plan. You could attribute this to inadequate information on the essence of estate planning. If you engage an excellent trust attorney in San Jose CA, you will understand why this process is essential. Most attorneys will tell you to prioritize estate planning, including regular updates.

At the same time, consider engaging your friends and family in the planning process. Alongside a reputable estate planning attorney in the Bay Area, these individuals will help you deal with the everyday estate planning FAQs. Including them in your plans will help address every loophole in your testament.

Irregular Estate Plan Updates

Various families will likely write a testament once, mainly after a major life event, like a child being born. It was a wrong move. According to estate planning experts from Keyes Law Group, you need to update your will and trust at regular intervals. The idea is to include all your assets and get your beneficiaries right. You need to engage your attorney for the updates.

Asset ownership undergoes significant change over time. For instance, you could invest in digital assets and fail to declare them in your trust. Not stating this digital asset in your testament will cost you and your beneficiaries in the long run. An attorney will offer a comprehensive estate planning form every time you want to update your estate plan, ensuring that you capture everything.

Not Getting the Beneficiaries Right

We hear this story often – ‘Mom (or Dad) told me she wanted to include you in the Trust, but she never did.’ That beneficiary may be out of luck. Spouses and children can even be left out of a Trust, if done incorrectly.  An experienced trust attorney in San Jose CA, will advise you to list multiple beneficiaries. Suppose your beneficiaries all die before you. In that case, you will need a contingent beneficiary—someone who is next in line. If no contingent beneficiaries are named, your property will be subject to probate, which allows creditors to make claims against the assets.

At the same time, you must avoid being too specific. Specificity might complicate things in the future, mainly if you give specific pieces of property or accounts to different beneficiaries. At the time you write the gift, the values might be the same. But real estate and accounts change in value a great deal. They can even be sold or liquidated. Equal gifts one year might be drastically different in 5 to 10 years. A gift might even be cancelled if the funds are transferred. Carefully consider if you want to give equal values or specific properties/accounts. t

Naming minors as beneficiaries is pretty standard. However, it is a bad idea to distribute assets  to a minor if you do not illustrate appropriate guardianship issues. Choose a trustee or guardian that can help handle the property until the child becomes old enough to handle money, which may be after the child becomes an adult.

Not Planning for Death

Various elements go into adequately planning for death, whether yours, a beneficiary’s, or a spouse’s. In this case, you will first start by invoking the power of attorney, a document allowing an agent to manage financial affairs. This move allows the attorney to step in to make logical decisions should you become incapacitated. An excellent attorney will help you fill out end-of-life documents and include them in your estate plan.

If you run a family business, its continuity should be a priority. Yet, estate planning family owned business can be a daunting task if you do not indulge a qualified attorney. This professional will help establish the right fit to run the company, ensuring that the business thrives even after your demise.

Not Properly Setting Up a Trust

You need to set up and fund your trust correctly. Remember, unless you fund this trust, it will remain useless. An excellent professional will help you determine what to include and do, from titling assets to getting a genuine taxpayer identification number (if needed). They will also ensure that your property is handled accordingly.

A properly set-up trust anticipates the death of your spouse and beneficiaries. For this reason, you will be sure of what happens if, in the family trust, one spouse dies. The lawyer will guarantee exceptional contingent beneficiary support.

Your estate plan will determine how fluid your children’s and beneficiary’s future will be. Our experienced and reliable Keyes Law Group estate planning attorney will ensure that the process is smooth, avoiding the five common mistakes above. For professional and reputable lawyers, contact us anytime and you will be guided appropriately.


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