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Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

 Posted on December 11, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerGetting your affairs in order so that your golden years are much more enjoyable takes careful planning and foresight. By properly planning your estate, you put yourself in a better position to mitigate risks and take control of your “endgame.” An estate planning lawyer will have invaluable advice and guidance on how best to stay on track to meet your expectations later in life. Of course, planning mistakes can happen, and it is better to be proactive in avoiding committing them as early as possible.

You Do Not Have a Plan

The biggest mistake you can make with estate planning is not having a plan. Even those with a plan may have one poorly conceived and may have only garnered minimal thought on your part. Without a will or trust in place, the distribution of your assets is left up to the state to decide. If you care about leaving behind an inheritance or want someone to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so, you must meet with an estate planner. Father, time will not wait, so why should you?

Neglecting Long-Term Healthcare

Everyone gets older, and it is likely that should you reach the age of 65, long-term care may be a necessity. Private care does not come cheap. For older people with disabilities, the costs only continue to grow. Do yourself a favor and plan for retirement while you are still gainfully employed.

Asset Ownership Oversight

Happily, married couples who do not jointly own a business will do well to correct this oversight. There may be reasons, on occasion, why a single spouse may want to keep their property separate from their partner. However, jointly owned property creates protections from creditors and makes property transference a lot easier after one spouse’s death.

Forgetting To Name a Secondary Beneficiary

What happens when your primary beneficiary passes away before you do? Your assets go back to the estate, opening it up to probate, which could cause your loved ones unnecessary grief. Naming a secondary or contingent beneficiary can help you and your family avoid this scenario, which could also include family disputes over your assets. It is a good idea to name at least two contingent beneficiaries on each piece of property you have listed in your will or trust.

Making a Bad Choice in Fiduciary

You can never know for sure if the person you set up to handle your estate, trust fund, or look after your children in the event of your death will be the right choice. Typically, the surviving spouse is the likely and most obvious choice in who should handle the estate. However, it is possible for them to become overwhelmed in managing the probate process or be unable to handle the complex financial aspects of the estate.

Sometimes, a non-family member may be the best choice to handle things when you are gone. So long as you feel they are trustworthy, will honor your wishes, and are responsible enough to do so. The best course of action is to speak with an estate planning attorney to review potential candidates and help make the best choice.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Estate Planning Attorney

Avoid these common mistakes when planning your estate. For help with the complexities of estate planning, you can reach out to a Schaumberg, IL, estate planning lawyer to assist you. Anderson Attorneys, P.C. is more than qualified and carries enough experience to get your plan on track. Contact the office at 847-850-8899 for a free consultation to discuss your future.

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