How to avoid common estate planning mistakes

How to avoid common estate planning mistakes

A number of common estate planning errors are related to documents that are out of date. You might have made plans for minor children who are now adults, or the executor or trustees you appointed may have died or no longer be suitable for other reasons. It is important to have an estate plan in North Carolina and to make sure that it is reviewed and updated regularly.

From minor to adult children

Wills usually name an executor, and if you have one or more trusts, you might have named trustees. If your children were minors when you first created the will and are now adults, you may want to make one of them an executor. On the other hand, you might decide that your child is too irresponsible to be an executor or to receive the money you placed in a trust for them to receive at 25. You can revise the trust and change the conditions under which distributions are made.

Tax issues

An older estate plan may have used strategies for reducing taxes and preserving wealth based on tax laws that no longer exist. Changes in estate, income and gift tax law as well as portability rules for surviving spouses may mean that you need to revise your documents.

Involving others

You may also want to consider discussing your estate planning with loved ones. This can make it easier for them to understand and carry out your wishes.

An attorney may be able to help you create an estate plan if you do not have one or review and update an existing plan. One advantage of working with an attorney is that they may be able to help you with strategies to protect your wealth or address family issues that you might not have known about.

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