Four Disastrous Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

No one likes to spend time thinking about who will get their assets after they die, which is one of the reasons why so many people put off estate planning until later in life. But it doesn’t have to be a depressing or morbid undertaking. Knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of financially after your death can actually be comforting and give you one less thing to worry about.

No estate plan is perfect, but if you take the time to think about some important issues and make the right decisions, you can come up with one that closely reflects your wishes – provided you avoid the four estate planning mistakes below.

Mistake No. 1: Thinking you’re too young

If you’re under 30 and have few assets, you may assume that estate planning is not worth it for you yet. Wrong. There’s more to the process than deciding which sibling gets your valuable coin collection. A living will and health care surrogate document can – and should – be made at any age: if you get into a serious accident or suffer an illness that sends you into a coma, an agent/surrogate that you designate can make important medical decisions on your behalf.

Mistake No. 2: Leaving a lot of money to people who handle cash poorly

Although we like the idea of leaving our loved ones financially well-off, some people are unable to manage money properly and run through their inheritances within a short period of time. Your estate plan can include a trust fund that doles out the money in a way that leaves the beneficiary financially stable.

Mistake No. 3: Forgetting about taxes

If you intend to leave behind assets of considerable value, don’t forget about the estate taxes that may be levied against them. The IRS allows you to “gift” your beneficiaries assets worth up to $14,000 per year (as of 2015) while you’re still alive without gift tax consequences, so a lifetime gifting plan may be an option. An estate planning attorney can help you make this decision. Another type of tax to consider involves that on capital gains.  Proper planning with a qualified Florida estate planning attorney can help to minimize capital gains tax consequences.

Mistake No. 4: Leaving your plan unchanged

Because life can be unpredictable, your estate plan needs to be regularly updated. If you marry, have children, divorce, suffer a health crisis, or undergo any other major event, it all needs to be factored into your plan. Federal and state laws also change, so review your plan with an attorney at scheduled intervals.

We can help you put together a plan tailored for your current circumstances, and work with you to update it over time. Please contact us today to learn more!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

3 Essential Tools For Business Estate Planning
3 Reasons To Review Your Estate Planning Now
7 Damaging Misconceptions About Florida Estate Planning
Avoid The High Cost Of Bad Estate Planning
Business Succession: An Important Part Of Your Estate Planning
Diy Estate Planning: Is It Worth The Risks?
Estate Planning 101: Five Essential Steps In Creating A Living Trust
Estate Planning 101: How To Have Difficult Conversations With Your Loved Ones
Estate Planning 101: If You Own Firearms, Consider Creating A Gun Trust
Estate Planning 101: The Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Irrevocable Trust
Estate Planning Basics: Why Avoiding Probate Is Preferable
Estate Planning Beyond The Will: The Importance Of Powers Of Attorney
Estate Planning For Business Owners
Estate Planning For Parents Of Children With Disabilities: Six Key Issues To Consider
Estate Planning: 3 Tips To Help You Begin
Estate Planning: Do You Have A Plan For Your Digital Assets?
Estate Planning: It’s Never Too Early To Begin
Estate Planning: Understanding The Role Of Executor
High Net-Worth Estate Planning: 5 Potential Methods To Help Minimize Estate Tax Liability
How Divorce Affects Your Estate Plans
Isn’t Estate Planning For The Elderly Or The Ultra Wealthy?
New Year’s Resolution – Time To Update My Estate Plan
Secure Your Legacy: Five Often Overlooked Questions That Must Be Answered By Your Estate Plan
Top Estate Planning Excuses
What Are Some Of The Most Effective Estate Planning Strategies For Asset Preservation?
What To Bring When You Meet With Your Estate Planning Attorney
Why Do I Need To Hire An Estate Planning Attorney?

Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.