A Blog from
Fields and Dennis LLP
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Estate Planning Faux Pas

Estate planning is important. If you haven’t already considered an estate plan, there is no time like the present.  When considering how to start this process, you should consider professional advice.  Fields and Dennis has years of experience under its belt and can help you produce an estate plan that is secure, cares for all your loved ones and leaves few uncertainties for family members.  After all, it’s your legacy and it should be carried out as you intended.  Estate planning can be complex, but with the right professional assistance, it doesn’t have to be.

People often make a variety of mistakes when planning their estate.  One of the biggest mistakes is failing to get professional advice.  While the cost of hiring an estate planner can seem unnecessary, it will often save much trouble later.  While you may not be around to deal with the repercussions, a faulty estate plan will cause your loved ones quite the headache.  There can be a lot involved in the estate planning process.  From your basic will, to trusts, life insurance, setting up a health-care proxy, gifts and tax exclusions.  Attorneys can provide much needed guidance when it comes to legal documents and making sure that you have properly covered all of your bases.

When approaching their estate plan, many also fail to properly distribute their material goods.  People often appreciate the sentimental tokens left by family members: a grandmother’s pearls, an aunt’s ring, family china or miscellaneous heirlooms.  While money can be divided and property sold, the mementos of a life are harder to distribute.  When planning your estate, be sure to leave specific instructions for your material assets to avoid later arguments amongst loved ones.

Creating an estate plan is important, and it is a task that many fail to do.  Yet, once you have created an estate plan, there is always more to be done.  Be sure to update the plan periodically, making sure to evaluate beneficiaries and make necessary changes and updates.  Whether it be for personal reasons, or ifpersonal representatives are no longer capable of handling the task due to death or illness, it is important to keep your plan up to date.

Regardless of the mistakes one can make when estate planning, the biggest mistake is to avoid it.  While people understandably do not like to think about their mortality, it is your loved ones who will be impacted by your estate planning choices.  Creating an estate plan is a choice to provide for loved ones, to look to their future and to do your best to solidify your own legacy, as well.