Like many others, you are probably wondering – Do I really need to have an estate plan? The truth is estate planning is for everyone. If you are over the age of 18, you can plan your estate. Your best bet is to seek advice from an expert, such as estate attorney Pamela L. Hancock. Below are some common estate planning mistakes that you should avoid in all circumstances.
Not planning your estate like a pro
People often assume that an estate plan is all about creating a will. After all, online estate planning services promise easy solutions through a few basic forms. However, having a ‘real estate plan’ is extremely important. Each person has their assets, wishes, and circumstances, which can be unique in many ways. There is no one-solution-fits-all approach.
Not hiring an attorney
You need to get an estate planning lawyer – period. Don’t be fooled to assume that you can do everything on your own. If you end up making mistakes, your loved ones could suffer after you are gone, and there isn’t much that they can do. Get an attorney so that you can get genuine advice and feedback on all relevant aspects and concerns.
Choosing one beneficiary
It is always wise to have more than one beneficiary for your assets. This ensures that all contingencies are taken care of. If the beneficiary dies before you, the contingent beneficiary can get the assets as per your estate plan. Talk to your lawyer, who can explain the pros and cons of your decision.
Not having an advance medical directive
What happens if you are incapacitated and cannot make decisions concerning your healthcare and treatments? To avoid such situations, you need an advance medical directive – a key estate planning document. You can mention your wishes and appoint someone to make those decisions on your behalf.
Not having a durable power of attorney
If you are incapacitated and incapable of deciding on financial matters, you need someone to make those decisions, or else your family will have to approach the court. A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make financial decisions, including selling your property, if you cannot have a say because of an illness or event.
Finally, it would be best if you considered evaluating and revising your estate plan from time to time. Talk to an attorney to know how you can distribute your assets and wealth while staying in sync with state laws.