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Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid


Although it is critical that everyone creates an estate plan so that their final wishes are fulfilled, it is just as important that those making a plan do not make some of the most common mistakes. These mistakes can hold up probate for surviving loved ones or worse, cause the courts to deem any aspect of the estate plan as unenforceable. This is why it is crucial to know the most common mistakes made, so you can avoid them when creating your own estate plan.

Failing to Update the Estate Plan

People tend to think that once they have created their estate plan, the task has been completed and they are done. They do not realize that their situation may change, the law may change, or even their family may change. If the estate plan is not updated to reflect these changes, your assets could be distributed to beneficiaries you no longer intended to include, or that your other final wishes are not fulfilled.

Not Understanding What Your Will Does

You may already know of some of your most important assets that you would like to include in your estate plan, such as family heirlooms, that you want to pass on to other members of your family. However, there are certain assets that you cannot control and therefore, cannot include in your will. For example, if you have a jointly held asset, such as an IRA, you cannot include this in your estate plan. You must understand what your will can do, and what it cannot.

Failing to Create a Revocable Trust

Revocable trusts are very helpful. Throughout your lifetime you can place assets into the trust to protect them, and a trust can also help your family avoid a lengthy probate process after you pass away. Unfortunately, many people do not think about revocable trusts, or they are not even aware that they exist and so, they do not create one even though they hold many benefits.

Not Creating a Living Will

Many people think their estate plan will only go into effect once they pass away. This is not true. Estate plans can help plan for many things in the future, including what your wishes are if you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself. A living will can help ensure that even if you cannot tell people what your wishes are at that time, they will still be carried out.

Not Enlisting the Help of a Florida Estate Planning Attorney

Many people believe that writing a will takes care of all of their estate planning needs. Unfortunately, this is not the case and if you create a will on your own, it may be deemed unenforceable by the courts. Worse, you could need additional aspects of an estate plan and if they are not included, your final wishes may not be carried out. When it is time to create your estate plan, call our Naples estate planning attorney at Nici Law Firm at (239) 449-6150 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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