What are some common estate planning errors?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2021 | Trust, Estate Planning, and Probate |

Putting an estate plan together often involves careful attention to detail. Even slight mistakes could cause problems for beneficiaries if the documents lack clarity. Some issues could even render a will or health care proxy invalid under New York law. It helps anyone involved in estate planning to avoid some common mistakes.

Essential points about estate planning

The testator signed the will, but was the document dated? If not, then the will may not be valid. Other elements factor into drawing up a valid will, and individuals trying to craft DIY documents could make significant mistakes. Working with an attorney may help testators avoid mishaps.

Unfortunately, some people do not perform any estate planning. Not only does this leave an estate to intestate succession laws when the person passes away, but they fail to enact health care directives, such as a living also will, or financial documents such as a power of attorney designation.

Thoroughness and taking additional steps

Life and related circumstances could change as time progresses, so updating a will may prove necessary. Changing the executor, adding beneficiaries and making further revisions after inheriting money or seeing additions to a family are appropriate. Failing to update a will might lead to serious problems after someone passes away as challenges may arise.

Other issues may require consideration, such as addressing life insurance policies or taking advantage of gift tax exemptions while alive. Ultimately, being thorough about the estate planning process could make things easier for beneficiaries. Putting any steps associated with estate planning off for too long may have consequences.

Estate planning and probate could involve many steps, and even minor errors may undermine the best intentions. Working with an attorney may help a person reduce the chances of making regrettable mistakes.