Even with the best intentions, you could make an estate planning mistake that costs you and your loved ones time and/or money. Fortunately, when you're familiar with the most common mistakes, it's easier to avoid a bad situation.
Here are five estate planning mistakes that have plagued others before you:
- Waiting too long: When you're young, you don't want to think about estate planning, but this is when you should learn more. You can make changes as you age, just make sure you have the basics in place early on.
- Forgetting to update your estate plan: Don't assume that the first estate plan you create is the one you'll keep in place the rest of your life.
- Not planning for incapacity: You could become ill or injured to the point where you're unable to make your own decisions. Incapacity planning ensures that the right person steps in to make decisions on your behalf.
- Not naming a guardian for your children: This is a must if you have children under the age of 18. If you don't do this, there's no way of knowing for sure where your children will end up if you and your spouse pass on.
- Choosing the wrong executor: This is the person in charge of your estate once you pass on. You must choose a trustworthy, responsible and caring individual to serve in this capacity.
By taking your time, you'll find it much easier to avoid these mistakes when creating an estate plan. If you've made one of these in the past, revisit your plan to ensure that it won't impact you in the future.