The 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make In Their Wills, According To Estate Lawyers
Mistake 1: Assuming Your Estate is Not Worth Enough
One of the most common mistakes people make when creating their last will and testament is assuming that their estates are not worth enough to be subject to estate taxes. This assumption can lead to serious legal and financial ramifications for your loved ones.
Mistake 2: Outdated Wills And Forms
Another common mistake people make when creating their will is not updating their wills and forms regularly. It is important to ensure that your will and forms are updated to reflect any changes in your circumstances and to ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected in these documents.
Mistake 3: Uncoordinated Beneficiaries
In order to prevent unintended consequences, it is important to ensure that your beneficiaries are coordinated across all of your assets and documents. This includes bank accounts, investment accounts, insurance policies, and other assets that you may have.
Mistake 4: Failure to Title a Trust
Many people forget to title their trusts — a critical mistake that can have serious implications in the event of your death. To avoid this mistake, be sure to title your trust as the owner of your assets.
Mistake 5: Triggering the Estate Tax with Life Insurance
Life insurance policies can often push the value of your estate over the estate tax threshold, resulting in significant financial consequences for your beneficiaries. To avoid this mistake, consider transferring your life insurance policy to a trust.
Mistake 6: Confusing Estate Planning with Retirement Planning
Many people mistakenly believe that estate planning and retirement planning are the same thing. While there is some overlap between the two, it is important to make a distinction between the two and ensure that your planning documents reflect your wishes and needs.
Mistake 7: Failing to Get Expert Help
Perhaps the biggest mistake people can make is failing to seek expert help when creating their wills and estate plans. Estate lawyers, financial planners, and other experts can help ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected in your planning documents and help you avoid costly legal and financial mistakes.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can help ensure that your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are accurately reflected in your will and estate plan.