Common Estate Planning Mistakes Everyone Should Avoid

Creating a comprehensive estate plan is essential. Doing so helps ensure your finances, assets, and more are in order both during your life and after you pass away. However, not unlike other things, simply creating an estate plan is worthless if you do not do so correctly. Estate planning is complicated, which is why without the assistance of an experienced attorney, it is very easy to make critical mistakes that may drastically affect your estate plan. Below, our experienced Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys have compiled a short list of some of the most common–yet easily avoidable–estate planning mistakes people make to help you avoid making the same mistakes. Please continue reading to learn more.

  • Not using an attorney to make your estate plan is one of the most common, yet potentially damaging mistakes anyone can make. Of course, there are many online will-writing kits and other tools of that nature, however, you run the risk of encountering the many potential legal pitfalls associated with choosing to “go it alone.”
  • Failing to regularly update your estate plan with an attorney: Updating your estate plan, at least every few years, is critical. As the law and your life change, so will your estate plan and your needs. For example, getting married or divorced, having a child, and more are all reasons to update your estate plan.
  • Not understanding the purpose of a will: Wills only control assets in your name. This means wills are not generally used for jointly held assets, IRAs, and life insurance policies. An estate planning attorney can clarify what items you are protecting in your will, and how to protect other assets that are not included in your will.
  • Failing to create a revocable living trust: Oftentimes, we recommend creating a living trust-based estate plan, as this can help your family avoid probate after you pass away, thus saving them both time and money.
  • Failing to create an advance healthcare directive or a health care power of attorneyEstablishing these documents can help ensure you are well taken care of, should you ever become incapacitated or unable to make certain medical decisions on your own. By appointing a trusted loved one in this situation, you will have peace of mind knowing they are always acting in your best interest when making key medical decisions on your behalf.

For any additional questions regarding the estate planning process, please do not hesitate to give our experienced Montgomery County estate planning attorneys a call today. We are here to help.

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Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.