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Estate planning mistakes to avoid

Creating an estate plan is the smart, responsible thing for adults to do. While this is true, if you aren’t fully aware of the laws or rules of this process, you may make costly mistakes.

A great way to avoid mistakes like these is to find out what they are.

Failing to name alternates for important roles

Most people name their spouse as the beneficiary of their estate, insurance policy and retirement accounts. They are also likely named on Powers of attorney for medical and financial situations.

What happens if you and your spouse die at the same time? It may lead to issues if you don’t have alternates named for these important roles. The same is true for the executor of your will.

Without backups, the court will name someone to fill this role, which may lead to your estate not being handled based on your wishes.

Failing to prepare for your incapacity

People use trusts and wills because they understand that death is inevitable. These documents let those you leave behind know how you want your property and other assets distributed.

However, what if you become incapacitated? Will your family know how to handle things in your absence? This is where incapacity planning comes in. You can create documents to name someone to handle your medical decisions and financial decisions if you reach a point where you cannot do this yourself.

Protecting your family by avoiding estate planning mistakes

As you create your estate plan, it is important to know some of the most common mistakes so you can avoid them. When creating this plan, you have legal rights and options, and working with a professional is recommended to ensure your needs are met.