Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

If you have children or own any assets of value, you need an estate plan. It does not matter if you are still young or your net worth is not very high; estate planning is not just for wealthy people.  The real goal of estate planning is not to make you or other people rich; if it were possible to multiply your net worth through simple estate planning maneuvers, everyone would have generational wealth. Rather, the goal of your estate planning is to make life less stressful for the people who will take care of you in your final years and who will be responsible for making decisions about your estate after you die. Getting started is the hardest part of estate planning, but even if you have already written a will or set up a trust, your work is not done yet. Estate plans work best if you revisit them periodically. A Whittier estate planning lawyer can help you make appropriate changes to your estate plan.

Not Updating Your Will

Writing a will while you are young and healthy is great, but it can cause problems if you never get around to updating it. You should revisit your will every time there is a major life change.  For example, perhaps you wrote your will when you were young and single, and you willed all your property to your parents. If you are now married with children and grandchildren, and your parents are gone, your old will could make probate more complicated than if you had never written one. Marriage, divorce, and birth of children and grandchildren are all compelling reasons to update your will. You should indicate in your new will that it replaces all previous versions.

Missed Opportunities to Keep Assets Out of Probate

Your heirs can save time and money if they can inherit some assets from you outside of probate court. You can keep assets out of probate by setting up a revocable trust and transferring property to it. You can also set up transfer on death or payable on death beneficiaries for some of your financial accounts.

Not Funding Your Revocable Trust

Revocable trusts can help you save money on taxes starting now and can make life easier for your family for generations to come. Transferring assets to the trust requires a considerable investment of time, though. The procedures vary depending on whether you are transferring real estate, bank accounts, or personal property to the trust. An estate planning lawyer can guide you through the process of funding your revocable trust.

Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum About Avoiding Estate Planning Mistakes

Being proactive about your estate plan is better than procrastinating getting started on it, but do-it-yourself estate planning can backfire in many ways. An estate planning lawyer can help you correct mistakes that you made by basing your estate planning decisions on emotions or Google searches. Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates APLC in Whittier, California to set up a consultation.

Common estate planning mistakes include not writing a will, not updating an out-of-date will, and not establishing or funding a revocable trust.