5 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

5 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

When the time comes for you to go, you’d want to leave something behind to your next of kin – the family home, a lake cabin, your car, jewelry, works of art, or even your bank accounts. You’ve worked hard over the years to accumulate and maintain these assets; you’d want to properly pass them on.

An estate plan will help you transfer your property and possessions to your beneficiaries with minimal tax obligations. A well-thought out and prepared estate plan also lessens the likelihood of your heirs suing each other over the property and having to appear in probate court.

Unintentional mistakes and oversights might keep you from achieving your estate planning objectives, even while correctly designed estate planning paperwork may help you increase the value of your estate.

Fortunately, many of these mistakes can be prevented if you know how to deal with them. This article outlines the most typical estate planning errors and suggests ways to prevent them.

No Estate Plan

Having an estate plan or trust in place gives those you care about precise instructions for managing your affairs during the chaos that follows the loss of a loved one. Understanding that there is an estate plan gives them peace of mind during a time when many things may seem uncertain.

Wrong Choice of Estate Executor

Knowing who to appoint as the best executor of your estate, the best trustee of a trust fund, or the best guardian for your young children is difficult.

Despite the fact that a surviving spouse may seem like the best option, that is not always the case. What if they are too stressed to handle a challenging probate process? What if they are managing a trust or a sizable estate but do not have the finest knowledge of money, investments, or tax laws? This is something you need to consider.


You don’t have to wait until you have a larger “estate” to consider the objectives that estate planning tools might achieve. Below are a few examples:

  • A college student can have a medical power-of-attorney (POA) to provide someone the ability to make decisions on their behalf, and a living will to specify to their family what healthcare decisions they want made for them.
  • A business owner who is preparing to travel abroad may want to appoint a temporary agent to handle their finances and business affairs while they are away.
  • Even if they don’t yet own a home or have considerable assets, a young couple with children might want to choose a guardian early on, just in case something happens to them..

Having No Disability Planning

The Society of Actuaries estimates that one in seven workers will become incapacitated for five years or longer before reaching retirement age. To prepare for this, it is important to establish a revocable trust, establish a durable power-of-attorney, and appoint someone as a temporary POA. These strategies can help prepare for an unforeseen handicap and its effects.

Not Regularly Updating Your Estate Plan

Although drafting an initial estate plan is a significant step, one of the most significant estate planning errors you can make is to neglect to evaluate and update your plan. For example, despite the fact that you may have divorced, your ex-spouse is still the one listed as your healthcare agent in your living will.

Do you still want your ex-spouse to decide how you’ll spend your final days? As your family and your life evolve, you must make sure that your estate plan is updated. Think about the following significant life changes:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth of a child
  • Death of your minor child’s guardian
  • Death of a primary or secondary beneficiary
  • Starting a new business
  • Purchasing a new home

Top-Rated Estate Planning Lawyers

Taylor, Minnette, Schneider & Clutter P.C.’s estate planning lawyers will assist you in reviewing the specifics of your case. We resolve matters in a variety of legal fields. Our team of knowledgeable attorneys offers wise guidance in writing your wills and trusts to specify your wishes.

Call us today at 765.361.9680 to consult our legal team.