Some North Carolina residents in Lincoln County may not have given much thought to how they would want their loved ones to settle their estate after their passing. While it may not seem like a pressing issue for someone who is young, in relatively good health and who does not have substantial wealth, it is actually important for all adults to have some estate planning documents in place.
If you have not started on your estate plan, you may be one of the many individuals across the country committing one of the biggest estate planning mistakes: not having a plan. While this may be one of the biggest, it is certainly not the only mistake that could affect an estate plan, and understanding possible errors may help you create a plan that suits your needs.
Moving forward with planning
If you have recently decided to create a plan, you have successfully jumped the biggest mistake hurdle. However, as you move forward with planning, you would be wise to watch out for these other common mistakes:
- Taking a DIY approach that could result in any documents you create not being considered legally valid
- Thinking that you do not have to do much planning because you do not have many assets
- Creating a plan and then not revisiting or updating it over the years
- Putting someone in charge of your estate as the executor without discussing it with that person first
- Not taking steps to protect assets for minors who cannot directly inherit them until they are older
- Overlooking tax implications
- Not thinking ahead and coming up with backup plans in case certain details of your original plan no longer work, such as not appointing a successor executor in case your first choice cannot carry out the necessary duties
This list is not meant to seem intimidating or make estate planning appear overly complex. It is just to inform you that mistakes can happen that could render your plan invalid if you do not have the right information and assistance when creating your plan.
How can you avoid mistakes?
Because estate planning involves legal documents, gaining information on laws in North Carolina that affect estate planning and how you could ensure that your documents comply with the law is a great way to avoid some major mistakes. Additionally, you may want to remember that seeking help with your planning efforts is not out of the question, and exploring your options as you get started on your planning journey may be worthwhile.