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Common estate planning mistakes and how to avoid them

Estate planning is an important aspect of securing your family’s future.

Unfortunately, many people make mistakes that can have significant consequences.

Neglecting to create a will

Did you know that only 46% of senior citizens aged 55 years have a will, much less an estate plan? One prevalent mistake is failing to establish a will. A will outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after your passing. Without a will, the state may determine how your estate gets divided, leading to potential conflicts among your heirs. Therefore, draft a clear, comprehensive will.

Overlooking beneficiary designations

Another common error is neglecting to update beneficiary designations on financial accounts and insurance policies. Life changes, such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child, can impact your desired beneficiaries. Regularly review and update these designations.

Ignoring the importance of powers of attorney

People often forget to establish powers of attorney, which designate individuals to make financial and medical decisions on their behalf in case of incapacity. Failing to set up these powers can lead to legal challenges and uncertainties. Designate trustworthy individuals to handle these responsibilities.

Underestimating the impact of taxes

Estate taxes can significantly diminish the value of your assets passed down to your heirs. Consult with financial experts to develop strategies that minimize the tax burden on your estate and maximize the inheritance for your loved ones.

Disregarding digital assets

In the age of technology, consider digital assets in your estate plan. This includes online accounts, cryptocurrencies and digital media. Clearly outline how you want these assets managed or distributed after your passing to avoid complications.

Do not take your estate planning responsibility lightly. Take the time to create a thoughtful and comprehensive estate plan for your family.