Planning for the future is more important than ever in an increasingly uncertain world. While everyone should put together a comprehensive estate plan, many people don’t know about common mistakes that can throw a serious wrench in your financial arrangements. It’s easy to accidentally make one of these five costly mistakes without the aid of a skilled estate planning attorney.
Mistake #1: Forgetting to Update Regularly
Crafting a comprehensive estate plan is just the beginning. To be effective, that plan needs to be updated whenever you experience a major life change like having new children or grandchildren or getting married or divorced. Without regular updates, your assets may end up going to someone you haven’t spoken to in decades, or younger children may be left out entirely.
Mistake #2: Not Planning for Nursing Home Stays or Potential Disability
While it may be an unpleasant topic, any estate plan needs to take into account potential nursing home stays or long-term disability from illness. If you don’t plan ahead for these possibilities, federal rules like the five-year Medicaid look-back period may prevent you from paying for nursing home care.
Mistake #3: Choosing the Wrong Executor or Power of Attorney Recipient
In a situation where someone else needs to make decisions about your assets or your health, an impartial third party is often a better choice than a close family member. A skilled estate planning attorney can help you determine the best person to represent your interests if you are incapacitated.
Mistake #4: Failure to Fund Trusts and Improperly Funding Trusts
Any of the Legacy Lawyers patented trusts can be extremely effective at keeping your assets where you want them after you pass away, but those trusts are only helpful if they are properly funded. This is particularly important when dealing with a special needs trust for a disabled family member. Making sure the right assets are placed in the proper places can be a complicated process, especially if you own a business. An attorney makes sure your business, personal assets, and retirement funds are all sorted and placed where they are most advantageous to you.
Mistake #5: Going the DIY Route
The single biggest mistake anyone makes with their estate planning is trying to put together a will or create a trust on their own. Without an attorney’s help, you are less likely to avoid the lengthy and costly probate process with your estate after you die, and it's more difficult to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Make Sure Your Long-Term Estate Planning Needs Are Met
Don’t let these costly mistakes interfere with your plans for the future. The heirlooms and assets you’ve built up over your life should go where you want them in your final years. Contact Legacy Lawyers today and we can help craft an asset protection and estate plan before it's too late.