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The Estate Planning Process: Avoid Making These Common Mistakes

March 17, 2020

Crafting an estate plan is an important part of everyone’s life regardless of wealth, age and medical condition. Your sudden incapacitation from an illness or injury or the untimely death of a loved one who did not have an estate plan in place can subject family and friends to worrisome uncertainty. However, having a plan in place will lessen the burden on loved one while making certain that an individual’s final wishes are carried out.

While knowing about the various estate planning tools that are available to you is important, when you are ready to prepare a plan, it is also important to avoid the common mistakes that often occur during the process. Let our Springfield elder lawyer help. Below are some examples of estate planning errors you will want to avoid when possible.

Failing to Think About the Tax Consequences of Your Estate Plan

Whether it’s income and capital gains taxes or gift and estate taxes, steering clear of unnecessary liability to the IRS takes careful tax planning. Unfortunately, some transactions will result in immediate tax liability; however, other transactions can defer or eliminate tax liability for years to come.

Exposing Your Family to Probate

If you only have a will, your loved ones will likely have to deal with the probate process after your death. Even with an estate plan, the same may be true if it fails to fully address certain issues. Our Springfield elder lawyer knows that probate can be expensive, time-consuming and headache overall. That said, it is generally best to avoid probate altogether when possible.

Only Focusing on After-Death Distributions

Many individuals think of an estate plan as a way to allocate their assets upon their death. While this is one part of estate planning, having an all-inclusive plan can serve several important purposes, such as planning for your incapacity and appointing a guardian, if needed, for any children who are unable to care for themselves.

Making Long-Term Choices Too Soon

There are many estate planning tools that allow for flexibility to make changes over an extended period of time, but some can severely limit your options in the future. For instance, prior to committing to an irrevocable trust, it is crucial that you ensure that this is truly in your best interests in the long run.

Not Talking About Your Plan With Your Family

Whether you are selecting a health care surrogate or you are looking to preserve assets for future family members, there are several aspects of your estate plan that should be discussed ahead of time with your loved ones. Many of your choices will naturally impact others, so it is important not to make them on your own.

Schedule an Estate Planning Consultation With a Springfield Elder Attorney Today

Are you ready to create your estate plan? If so, we encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation with one a Springfield elder attorney as soon as possible. Contact our office today.