One of the biggest misconceptions about estate planning is that it’s a luxury reserved for the wealthy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of us have valuables that we’d love to pass onto family or friends. These can include personal possessions like cars, a home or even bank accounts. The truth of the matter is that anyone can create an estate plan, it just takes some time to sit down, decide what will go to whom and finding the right professionals to help you do it all.
Before you get started, though, it’s important to know what you shouldn’t do when forming an estate plan. In this piece, we’ll be going over five common mistakes that many people make during the process.
Don’t risk making mistakes during your estate planning process. Our probate lawyers in McAllen will do what they can to ensure that you’re well taken care of.
Not Having a Plan
The most common mistake that countless people make is simply not having an estate plan at all. The problem with not having one is that, should you pass on unexpectedly, your belongings will be relegated to being distributed by a court. Consider a will being your last words to what will become of your belongings. If you have a family whom you want to own your possessions after you die, then a will is necessary.
Waiting Too Long to Make One
Procrastination when it comes to forming an estate plan can be just as serious as not going about setting one up at all. Like we mentioned before, if you should pass on without an estate plan, your belongings will then be distributed by a court. This means that your wishes will not be upheld, and the home that you wanted to pass on to your oldest child may end up going to a sibling instead. Do the right thing and get your estate plan done now.
Not Updating it Periodically
Life can be quite a journey sometimes. Changes happen all of the time, especially within a family, business or close circle of friends. This can include divorces, births, deaths and even business expansions/closures. If you’ve already written up a plan, then be sure to update it should one of these events happen. For example, if you have an older sibling who’s passed away that you granted your home to if you were to die before him/her, then it’s very important that your plan be updated. If you die without an updated plan, your current one will be considered final, and any arrangements that can’t be made will then be handled by a court.
Plan for the Unexpected
Going off of what we just discussed, updating your estate plan should take many things into consideration. One is a possible future disability. These can be caused by either accidents or illnesses, but both can have long-term negative effects on your personal and financial affairs. Deciding who’ll handle your finances, belongings or your children’s welfare should be addressed. In this case, a power of attorney should be appointed to handle these issues.
Choosing the Wrong Person to Handle Your Assets
One of the most important things to do during your estate planning process is choosing the right person as an executor of your estate. Choosing a person who isn’t right can spell trouble for you and your family. You might be thinking that a spouse or one of your children is the wisest choice, however, it’s best to select a person who has no personal investment with you or your affairs, thereby avoiding any bias on their part when it comes to deciding how your wishes will be handled.
Plan with Us
If you’ve yet to create an estate plan, then it’s time to get started. It’s never too late or soon, and our probate lawyers in McAllen are ready to help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to explore your options.