Discussing the topic of mortality is not something many people are typically eager to do. Most people in California understand the importance of a thorough estate planning process, and such discussions are often the starting point to execute a concrete plan. As crucial as knowing what steps to take to compile documents is knowing what not to do in order to avoid common mistakes others have made in the past.
Many people take care of everything necessary regarding issues pertaining to their deaths. Some neglect to consider that an estate plan can be used for other types of situations when one is still alive. If a person becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions concerning finances or medical care, instructions can be included in an estate plan, and another person can be designated to act on that individual’s behalf.
Forgetting to update a plan when important life changes take place that affect estate plan contents is another common mistake. With regard to property and assets, some people fail to consider tax ramifications of a particular estate plan. There are usually ways to reduce such fees, including giving gifts to a spouse, charity or business.
Two of the biggest mistakes most often made regarding estate planning in California are not having a plan in place when the need arises and/or realizing the importance of a good plan but putting it off for a later date time and again. It’s common to have a lot of questions if one has never delved into the estate process. Some attorneys are highly experienced in this area and can provide information and appropriate guidance.
Source: FindLaw, “Ten Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid“, Accessed on March 29, 2017