The Top Five Mistakes To Avoid In Estate Planning

Proper estate planning can be one of life's greatest bargains. A modest expenditure in legal fees can save large amounts of money and time for family members when testamentary documents become critically important.

With so much information available on the internet, it is understandable why "do-it-yourself" estate planning appeals to some people. Yes, you can find template wills and learn a lot by surfing the Web, but you cannot get personalized advice suitable to your circumstances in your state any better way than consulting with a local attorney you can trust. Wayne P. Marsh in Sun City is prepared to help you avoid common mistakes and devise an estate plan that will achieve your objectives. Contact the law firm to discuss the most convenient satellite location near you to meet with him. Learn how to make your estate plan work as it should.

So What Are Common Mistakes Many People Make In The Area Of Estate Planning?

One: The most common — and potentially the worst — mistake you can make is a failure to plan for your future at all. Ignoring the realities that everyone faces someday, you may put off essentials such as creating a will, signing a health care directive, double checking beneficiaries on your life insurance policy and wording a trust correctly. Procrastination in such areas has left many families in a lurch as they try to pick up the pieces after an unexpected death.

Two: All families experience change over time. A marriage, a divorce, a second marriage, the birth of a child, the adoption of a child, the marriage of a child, the death of a parent — these and other changes may make your estate plan out of date. Failure to review one's will, trusts, and powers of attorney and update as needed is another common mistake. You may end up with unintended consequences such as gifting money to an ex-spouse or putting family heritage properties at the risk of loss through divorce of a married child someday.

Three: Do you entertain notions of escaping estate planning by putting your home in a child's name (for example)? This may seem like a cheap and easy way to avoid creating a will or trusts to facilitate instant transfer of property after your death. But what will happen if your child is sued by someone after a car accident or a business failure? What if he or she goes through a divorce or has to file bankruptcy? Your assets could be lost when they could have been protected through a more conservative approach. Gifting children methodically during your lifetime can have its advantages, but full-scale "estate planning by gifting" before death can backfire in ways you do not expect.

Four: Creating a trust can be a powerful way to help your beneficiaries avoid probate for most or all of your estate. However, failing to follow through and fund the trust can make it ineffective. An estate planning lawyer who guides you to set up a trust should also ensure that all pieces of the puzzle are in place. Wayne P. Marsh's years of experience keep him sharp-eyed and on the cutting edge. He can help you avoid this kind of mistake.

Five: All the estate planning in the world will do no good if the people who will put it into effect after you die or become incapacitated do not know about it and do not know how to implement provisions of your testamentary documents. Perhaps you and your children feel uncomfortable talking about death. It may make you uneasy to think of losing control of your assets even though you know this is inevitable someday. Communication, then, is a key component of effective estate planning. This may mean simply keeping your spouse, children and siblings aware of who your attorney is, where your key documents are and where to find spare keys and lock box combinations. Likewise, you should ideally keep your estate planning lawyer informed of life insurance policies and other assets that may affect the total amount your beneficiaries may receive upon your death.

What Estate Planning Mistakes Might You Make Without The Right Advice?

Talk this matter over with an Arizona lawyer you can trust to listen and deliver personalized, up-to-date counsel and solutions. Email Wayne P. Marsh, PLC, through this website or call 623-688-5128 or 888-251-5153 to schedule a consultation.