When creating an estate plan it is important to ensure that you are incorporating all the features in the correct way.  This is the main reason that you always hire a professional estate planning attorney to assist.  There are several common mistakes that can be made when preparing an estate plan.  In this installment on estate planning we will discuss the most common mistakes in estate planning to help you avoid making them.

The number one mistake that is made when drawing up an estate plan is not appointing a guardian for your children.  You must appoint a clear cut guardian for your children, in writing, to avoid problems at a later date.  Children under eighteen years of age need to be cared for by a guardian.  When you take the time to talk with individuals in your life about this responsibility and make it official by stating your desired wishes in your estate plan it will be easier to ensure the children will be properly cared for until they are eighteen.  Otherwise, like everything else, guardianship of your children will be determined in probate by the court.

Another common mistake in estate planning is to think that once you have a plan in place that it will forever be current and doesn’t need updating.  Your estate plan must be updated regularly when changes occur.  The birth of a child, grandchild, purchase of estate, and new investments are all changes that will require your estate plan to need updating.  It is in your best interest to get in the routine of updating your estate plan every three years if not more often.  If a fall out occurs within the family but your estate plan was already erected the individuals still have legal rights to your estate.  It is crucial to keep your estate plan up to date and file with an attorney specializing in estate plans and probate law.

Another common issue that is overlooked is inheritance tax.  When you are giving something to someone it is crucial that you account for the taxes that they will be incurring.  There are ways to minimize tax liability to the recipient.  If there a large state of liability, you have to be sure that you are dividing up the tax liability among different individuals.  Doing so makes it easier to account for tax liability and do your best to minimize it.

Proper estate planning should be done in conjunction with an attorney specializing in probate law and estate planning to avoid future issues involved.  An estate plan should ensure that this transition in your life is predictable and non problematic for your heir’s.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at www.seanjnichols.com.  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols call 734.386.0224 today.

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