Lake Tahoe Attorney Blog

2Nov, 15

When it comes to estate planning we come across the same mistakes time and time again. It’s easy to make mistakes when planning your estate, especially if you’re trying to do everything on your own.

In this post we’re going to examine the most common mistakes we see when people are doing their estate planning. It’s important to get these mistakes resolved before they become a bigger issue down the line.

Not Having An Organized Estate Plan

Making sure your estate plan is organized is incredibly important. Part of this organization is ensuring everything is coordinated. If you have multiple beneficiaries you’ll need to make sure everything is set up so they inherit your assets in the way you want.

If you have assets such as real estate, investments, and insurance policies the value of these will change over the course of your lifetime, while others will remain the same. This means some beneficiaries run the risk of receiving less.

To ensure everything stays equal for your beneficiaries you should place the distribution instructions of your assets in your trust document. This will be much easier to maintain and is a simpler process than having to adjust multiple titles and designations.

Forgetting To Fund A Trust

Sadly, this happens quite frequently without the proper guidance in place. A trust only controls those assets that are placed within it. You may have written the Trust and have well thought out instructions, but until you change the titles and beneficiary designations it won’t do anything at all.

This is a common mistake that can be easily avoided.

Not Transferring Over Assets To Name Of Trust

This point is worth repeating. Too often we come across newly acquired assets that aren’t titled under the name of the trust. Any new accounts or purchased assets must be titled in the name of trust after the initial funding is complete.

Remember, a trust can only control the assets that are placed underneath it.

Failing To Work With A Qualified Attorney

Estate planning needs to be taken seriously. A lot of people try to plan their estate through an online tool, or other method, and end up falling short. You estate situations are unique, so you don’t want to work with a piece of general software that’s designed to work for everyone.

A simple mistake can have far reaching consequences. Working with a local attorney who understands the legalities of your state can be incredibly important. For instance, your estate needs to cover questions like:

  • Who should be the guardian of your children who are minors?
  • How can I best provide for a parent or child with special needs?
  • How do you provide for all of your children in an equal manner?
  • How do you best protect your estate from taxes and creditors?

If you’re interested in working with a qualified estate planning attorney to help plan your estate, then reach out to our team today.

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