The last thing anyone wants is to walk away from their meeting with their estate planning lawyer saying, “What did I just sign?” Unfortunately, many individuals do. In fact, Bob Carlson, who is a writer for Forbes with legal and accounting training, says that one of the “seven deadly estate planning mistakes” people often make is not knowing what they agreed to after they sat with their lawyer to create their estate plan.
While this might sound like a pretty serious issue, there are actually several other errors people often make when it comes to estate planning. If you’d like to know what these are so you can avoid them, read on below as we have taken the time to outline them for you.
Estate Planning Mistakes You Want to Avoid Making
- You allow your estate planning lawyer to create your entire plan without you actively participating in the process.
According to Carlson, many people often “become passive in the presence of an estate planner” and “rely on the planner to make sure everything in the plan is what they need and is done properly.” Unfortunately, if you are not actively working with your attorney, you may not fully understand the terms outlined in the legal documents you had written up. The fact is, estate plans can be confusing as they contain legal jargon that the average individual might struggle to interpret. It is for this reason that you need to work with your attorney, ask questions during the process, and be sure you address anything you don’t understand. This way, you won’t walk away feeling confused or uncertain as to what you just signed.
- You forget to update your beneficiary designations.
If you already created an estate plan, it may have been some time ago and your circumstances may have changed. For example, while you may have had assigned a sibling to inherit an asset, that may have been before you had a child or grandchildren. But, if you don’t update your living will or other documents included in your estate plan, your assets could go to the wrong person. Therefore, rather than making this mistake, you should meet with a Pompano Beach, FL estate planning attorney every so often to make any necessary changes to your documents so that they reflect your current wishes.
- You fail to designate a power of attorney or update the one you assigned.
According to Carlson, you should have a power of attorney assigned to handle financial matters and one to handle medical care matters. It is important that you take the steps to assign someone you who is close to you that you can trust as your power of attorney. In the event you already have, be sure to revisit this document if you no longer wish to have that person assigned as your power of attorney. The reality is, if something were to happen to you and you failed to update your power of attorney, you could have someone who is unsuitable handling your money or making medical decisions.
Now, if you are considering creating an estate plan, which you should, or already have one that needs revisiting and you live in or nearby to Pompano Beach, you are encouraged to contact Express Law to speak with an estate planning lawyer. Having an estate plan ensures the people you care most about are well-taken care of and that your last wishes are carried out according to your terms.
Express Law is located at:
2900 West Sample Road
Pompano Beach, FL 33073