You work hard all of your life. You want to ensure that you have a quality of life when you die.
Most importantly, you want to ensure that the money and assets you have worked so hard to accumulate pass to your children or your designated heirs without argument or stress and without the government taking a huge piece of what you have worked for all of these years.
To protect yourself at the end of your life and to make sure that your money and assets are distributed the way you want them to be distributed, it is important to do some basic estate planning. It is also advisable to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Estate Planning and who can help you to ensure you have a comprehensive and effective plan in place.
Estate planning is something that many people do not fully understand and it is something that many people make mistakes in doing. It is important to avoid Estate Planning mistakes as they can cost you and your loved ones dearly. Here are a few key estate planning mistakes that you should be sure to avoid:
1. Assuming Estate Planning is only for the wealthy. This is one of the most common mistakes. The fact is that everyone should make sure to have an estate plan in place. The estate plan can handle end-of-life care issues such as assigning medical and financial power of attorney and creating a directive on whether you want extraordinary measures to prolong your life. The estate plan can also dictate who will get what assets. Even if you do not have a lot of assets, you still have some and you don’t want to leave your surviving family members to argue about what happens to them.
2. Assuming that a will is the only thing you need. A will can be an important Estate Planning document but there are many others that can also be important. Power of attorney documents and directives on life-saving care, as already mentioned, should be a part of your estate plan. You may also want to use techniques such as creating a trust in order to facilitate the transfer of your assets in such a way that taxes can be avoided. A trust bifurcates ownership and possession and it can be a very effective Estate Planning tool in certain situations.
3. Not getting help with your will or in the creation of your estate plan. Even basic will have formal legal requirements that must be followed. You should have an attorney advising you to help you with the creation of a will that will be enforced by the courts.
These are three of the most common and serious mistakes made by people. Don’t be confused or intimidated by Estate Planning and do not just simply put your planning off until another day. Contact an attorney who can help you today to get your affairs in order so you can secure your future and the future of your heirs.
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