Although most people know that planning for end of life issues is important, only 58% of people ages 53 to 71 actually have estate planning documents. Even if a will is in place, it doesn’t guarantee that a person’s assets will be distributed smoothly. Unfortunately, some senior citizens make other errors in the estate planning process that have unintended consequences for their loved ones. If you want to make sure your estate plan maintains your legacy, here are 3 costly estate planning mistakes to avoid:
Failing to Update Your Estate Plan
Often people view an estate plan as something that they can forget about once it is complete. But this is incorrect. You must regularly maintain your estate plan if you want it to reflect your current wishes and life circumstances. Even though seniors may believe that major life changes are behind them, it is still vitally important that they review their estate plans and beneficiary designations annually.
Forgetting to Include, Understand or Update Powers of Attorney
Every estate plan should include at least two powers of attorney (POAs) – one for financial matters and one for medical care. A POA grants someone you trust with the authority to act as your agent if you are unable to do so.
You are more likely to become incapacitated and need the assistance of a POA before your heirs ever need to consult your will. Unfortunately, many seniors fail to include POAs as part of their estate plan. To ensure that POAs protect your assets before you pass away, it is important that estate planners create and review these documents regularly.
Creating An Estate Plan By Yourself
Some people may draft their own estate planning documents in an attempt to save some additional money for their families. However, several costly mistakes may occur with the do-it-yourself approach. Some of the most common issues with creating an estate by yourself are:
- failing to execute the will properly,
- limiting an estate plan to only a will,
- improperly using and funding trusts and
- failing to coordinate beneficiary designations with your will.
Poorly drafted estate plans can cost you and your family much more than the few dollars you save by doing it yourself. So it is essential that seniors engage estate planning professionals to help them create and implement these necessary plans.
If you would like to know more about mistake to avoid in your estate plan, send us a message or call us at (314) 454-9100. Aegis Law is here to help.
Who is Steven Spewak?
Steven is an estate planning attorney whose client’s are confident and secure that they, their loved ones and their legacies are protected.
As an experienced attorney, Steven works with his clients in the areas of estate planning, trusts, probate, asset protection and business succession planning. He is known in the industry for providing exceptional client value and turn-key service.
Steven has maintained Martindale Hubbel’s highest preeminent AV rating as an attorney for more than 20 years, been recognized by St. Louis Magazine as a Five Star Wealth Advisor four times, and recognized by St. Louis Small Business Monthly as a top attorney for business owners to work with. Steven also regularly teaches continuing education courses in areas related to estate planning, asset protection and business succession planning to CPAs, financial and insurance advisors and other attorneys