How To Avoid Major Estate Planning Mistakes

It can be easy to forget how important estate planning is as you go about your daily routines. In ”7 Major Errors in Estate Planning,”  a Forbes  article written by Robert Clarfeld, ”not having a plan” is the first estate planning error on the list. You know the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Forbes points out that technically each person does have an estate plan, but that it is one that will follow the whims of the state where you reside when you die. If you die without a legally binding will, your state will govern the distribution of your assets. Clarfeld writes, ““intestacy laws” vary from state to state but, typically, leave percentages of your assets to various family members.  There is always a remote chance that these laws will accomplish what you would have intended – but not likely.” For this reason, it is better to make a will of your own.

Another issue that Clarfeld addresses is the fact that creating a will of your own, does not necessarily mean creating that will by yourself without professional guidance: ”Estate planning documents should represent the culmination of a well thought out financial and estate plan.”  When it comes to estate planning, you can benefit from the night and foresight of a Fee Only financial planner. A number of people look online for templates or estate planning packages and don’t realize that they money they save now may costs their beneficiaries later since “only when examined post-mortem are the inadequacies revealed.

About the author

Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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