Estate planning is an intimidating experience for most adults; it makes you confront your future, your past and everything that comes after that. However, it's an essential process that every person needs to go through.
It's important to make the process easy on yourself and avoid mistakes before they become a significant issue.
Four mistakes that people make in estate plans
It's obvious that not having an estate plan or will is a huge mistake because you leave without providing an outline for your assets. However, there are many more mistakes you can make in the planning process, including:
- Believing only the wealthy need trusts - There's a common misperception that only extremely wealthy clients need to designate trusts. However, trusts are extremely helpful for everyone and keep the process easy for your family members. By creating a revocable trust, you can avoid probate and create plans surrounding your current life.
- Never updating your plans - While making an estate plan is critical, it's also crucial to update your plans consistently. If you let your plans become outdated, it creates several problems for your beneficiaries and your relatives while dividing your assets. Consider checking your will and trusts once a year or every other year to ensure they are up to date with your lifestyle.
- Choosing the wrong beneficiary - People come in and out of our lives. In one moment, one person seems like the perfect choice for managing your estate, but the next second, they are ready to walk out on you entirely. It's essential to pick a person who is responsible, respectful and consistently has your interests in mind. It doesn't have to be a friend or relative; it could be an attorney or third party.
- Procrastinating - The most common mistake people make while planning is procrastinating. They want to wait for specific milestones to start planning, but you are never guaranteed that time. It's best to put aside the waiting period and be decisive on what you want in your estate. It helps you and everyone else involved.
All these mistakes are common but easily preventable. All you need to do is adequately prep and understand what to look out for during the estate planning process. Once you are ready, you will be ready to take on the rest of your future.