Avoid These 4 Will Preparation And Estate Planning Mistakes

Setting up a will and planning an estate are both important tasks. However, people are prone to making a handful of basic mistakes that can create more problems than they solve. A will and estate planning lawyer will encourage their clients to examine these four common issues before putting pen to paper.

Failing to Speak With Beneficiaries

It is easy to assume you have a good read on who would benefit from what your estate has to offer. However, you need to know for sure what will work for each person. The best way to solve this problem is to talk to everyone individually. Discuss what you're considering putting in your estate so they can get a sense of whether that works for them. You might be surprised to learn, for example, that someone has a different financial situation than you were aware of. If something in the estate could create a tax burden for them, you can have an estate planning attorney include some provisions to try to offset those concerns.

Not Properly Funding the Estate

Estates have to settle debts and taxes. If creditors or the government aren't satisfied, they have significant legal remedies for going after an estate before an administrator can distribute it. The best way to avoid such problems is to fund your estate fully and with some room to spare.

Only Using a Lawyer for Paperwork

People often like to dictate their wills and largely use law firms to get things down in writing. It is your right to conduct your affairs that way, but you should also exercise your right to counsel so you can get independent legal advice about your plans. Tell a will and estate planning attorney what you're trying to accomplish. They can look at some of the potential legal options and lay them out for you. You can then make a better-informed decision based on your lawyer's recommendations.

Focusing on Post-Death Events

An estate tends to involve questions about what happens following a person's passing. However, there are plenty of other scenarios to explore too. For example, what happens if you have a medical emergency and are incapacitated to the point that you can't make decisions? A will and estate planning lawyer will also want you to think about what happens when or if those kinds of scenarios occur. You want to be sure your estate allows you to resume control once the circumstances have changed.

For more information, contact a will and estate planning lawyer.