Estate planning is a prudent step for North Carolina readers of all income levels, including those who do not have vast wealth or valuable assets. By making the effort to plan for what will happen after you pass, you can have a say over what happens to your stuff, who gets what and even plan for the care of your beloved pet. There are many benefits to planning ahead, regardless of money, health status or age.
If you are ready to move forward with the estate planning process, you would be wise to first take the time to learn about the process. Common estate planning mistakes can cost you dearly and ultimately invalidate some or all of your plans. This doesn't have to happen to you.
What should you avoid?
People make estate plans with the best of intentions, but often making the mistake of not carefully thinking through every decision and considering the long-term impact of their choices. This leads to mistakes and errors that can cause complications down the road. Of course, the primary estate planning mistake people commit is failing to have a plan in the first place. Other common missteps include:
- Failing to update a will after major life changes, such as a divorce, remarriage, birth of a new child and more
- Failing to include provisions and plans for what will happen in the event you experience an incapacitating illness or injury
- Forgetting to take steps that will reduce estate taxes, such as charitable giving
- Waiting too long to make plans or adjust plans
- Failing to discuss your concerns or goals with an experienced legal ally
These are just a few of the ways you can unintentionally cause complications for your loved ones and beneficiaries down the road. Depending on the nature of the error, a dispute may arise and your family may have to go before a judge. This costs time, money and stress.
Estate plan the right way
Even if your estate plan will be very basic, you will benefit from having the guidance and support of an experienced estate planning attorney. Seeking this support can ensure you do not make avoidable mistakes or cause other issues that will lead to confusion in the future. You deserve to have a say over what happens to your property and even your own body – don't sabotage your own goals by being reckless during the planning stage.