While the recent media attention has focused on the estates of the most-wealthy CEOs and celebrities, in reality, estate planning is for almost everyone. For people who have a house, a car, or even simply a bank account, an estate plan is essential to the financial future of your family.
Estate plans are important not only for ensuring the maximum value of an estate is passed on to the rest of the family, but also for determining how valuable possessions are handled while the owner is still alive. For people out there looking to plan an estate, there are common mistakes that people make. It is essential to avoid these issues because they can cost the inheritance millions of dollars.
1. Forgetting to update a will
Most people write a will decades before their death. During this time, the intention of the will can change. The most common reason for change is new assets. People tend to accrue assets as their lives continue. It is important to make sure these items make it into the will. Furthermore, some people in the will may die before the writer of the will. This can have large impacts on the estate. Make sure that the will is periodically updated to ensure it is up to date.
2. Relying on online forms
There is a significant amount of faulty information out there. Many people get lured in by the internet and believe that filling out online forms are sufficient. Many people behind these forms are scam artists. More often the internet is outdated. Sometimes the people behind the forms don't even exist. Handle important matters in person.
3. Not using a professional
In the end, the United States tax law is complicated and convoluted. It is important to meet with an estate planning lawyer to avoid these mistakes and plan around the most current information. Contact an experienced estate attorney to help plan an estate in a way to minimize the potential problems that may arise in the future.
An attorney will help you ensure that you have a plan that both meets your needs and is valid under California law. This can limit contests from those who are disappointed by what they receive under the document, which could be important in some situations. This can help your family move on and focus on their grief instead of finding themselves in a lengthy courtroom battle.