While the idea of preparing for death can be daunting to think about, it is important for every person to do so. This can be accomplished through the creation of an estate plan. In doing so, there are many different steps and documents that must be completed. This can be overwhelming, making it easy for mistakes to be made during the process. Common mistakes that can happen during the creation of an estate plan can include the following:
- Not hiring an estate planning attorney. There are a variety of ways that an estate plan can be set, including on your own. However, such an important matter in your life should be treated as such, and an attorney can provide you with the proper guidance needed to make a plan that best suits you. An estate planning attorney should also be used to change any documents that need to be updated.
- Not updating your estate plan. As life changes, so should your estate plan. This can include any assets or loved ones gained, just as it should include any assets or loved ones that are lost. An estate plan should be reviewed approximately every five years.
- Not understanding your will. A will is a document that controls the assets that belong to you and are in your name. What many people do not realize is that this does not include assets that are held jointly with another person.
- Not creating a revocable living trust. This can be modified overtime without the permission of a beneficiary. With this trust, you are able to save your family time and money by avoiding the process of probate after your death.
- Not transferring assets to the living trust. Fund your trust to make sure your assets are owned by it.
- Not having a living will as well as not discussing your end-of-life wishes with loved ones. By informing others of how you want to handle the end of your life, this ensures these desires can be carried out when the time comes.
- Not taking the cost of long-term care into account. An estate plan should include how you want your assets to be protected from paying for long-term care. If you need extra help, such as in-home care or a nursing home, your assets could go towards these costs. Your plan should outline how you want to protect your assets from this.
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Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.