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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

What Are the Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid?

Putting an estate plan in place is so important. One of the most common estate planning mistakes is not having an estate plan at all. That being said, a properly drafted estate plan is critical to best serving you and your loved ones. Mistakes in the drafting of an estate plan can have serious consequences such as unintentionally disinheriting someone, to leaving your family to deal with large tax bills or intense legal battles. The best start to avoiding common estate planning mistakes is to be aware of what those mistakes are.

Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

People often make the mistake of putting an estate plan in place and think they can leave it at that. It is important to make periodic reviews of your estate plan and to update because of major life changes such as births, deaths, divorces, and new business dealings or structuring. Without updating your will, you risk intentionally leaving someone out of an inheritance or giving an inheritance to someone you end up not wanting to receive the said inheritance.

Mistakes regarding beneficiaries are common in estate planning. One of the most common things people forget to do or choose not to do is name a contingent beneficiary on financial accounts, retirement accounts, and insurance policies. Sometimes, people forget to name a beneficiary altogether. This means the beneficiary of these accounts will be your estate which means the proceeds will be subject not only to probate but to creditors and delays in distributing the proceeds to beneficiaries. In other cases, people forget to update a beneficiary and end up listing a former spouse as the beneficiary on an account. This can have tough consequences if the policy or account holder remarried.

There are also mistakes made regarding the details of inheritance as set forth in a will. For instance, some people make the mistake of listing specific investments in their will. The problem with this is that what if, before you die, you end up selling or not owning that investment anymore? If you have listed a specific asset in your will to be inherited by someone and you no longer own that asset when you die, your estate may be required to go out and purchase that same asset at what could be a much higher price. This potentially has devastating consequences for other beneficiaries of your estate.

Another common estate planning mistake is failing to have a residuary clause. A residuary clause essentially handles everything you may not have specifically mentioned in your will. It also handles things you may have forgotten to put in your will or other estate planning documents or things you do not yet own.

Estate Planning You Can Count On

At Monk Law Firm, you can count on the estate plan we develop for you and your family. We design an estate plan that focuses on you and what is important to you. Contact us today.

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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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1701 First Baxter Crossing, Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC 29708
| Phone: 803-594-4453
13315 Carowinds Blvd., Suite Q, Charlotte, NC 28273
| Phone: 704-369-9977

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