Last time, our blog began discussing how as many as two-thirds of all adults here in the U.S. have failed to execute a simple will, all but ensuring that their state will determine how their assets are ultimately divided.
We also discussed, however, that the failure to execute a simple will is far from the only estate planning mistake that people make. Indeed, we began exploring how it's actually one of the four most common estate planning mistakes that people make, along with neglecting to plan for their incapacity.
In today's post, we'll finish exploring these common estate planning mistakes.
Overlooking the value of a trust
While executing a simple will can go a long way toward ensuring that your assets are divided according to your exact wishes, it's not without its drawbacks. Specifically, a will is considered a public document and, as such, will have to go through the formal probate process.
A trust, however, enables people to avoid the probate process altogether, meaning they'll save time and money for their heirs, and keep their affairs private. This is not to mention the estate tax benefits.
Accordingly, people err by overlooking the value of creating a trust.
Forgetting to revisit estate plans
Experts indicate that far too many people are guilty of resting on their laurels when it comes to their estate planning. In other words, they either forget or consciously ignore the need to revisit and, if necessary, update the documents.
While this is largely because people consider it burdensome, it's imperative to ensure that things like the birth of a new child/grandchild, subsequent marriage, purchase or sale of a business or other changes in circumstances are accounted for fully. Indeed, this ensures that a person's true intentions regarding their assets will be honored upon their demise.
Consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you would like to learn more about executing a will, creating a trust or pursuing other estate planning strategies.