This is part two of a two part article: “Don’t Make These Estate Planning Mistakes.” In part one, we emphasized the mistakes of procrastinating, not having a will, and being careless with how your assets are titled.
Below are three more estate planning mistakes that can wreak havoc on you and your family. Take care to avoid the following estate planning mistakes:
- Never update beneficiary designations. MISTAKE. You should take care to review and update your beneficiary designations on a regular basis. This will ensure that your current wishes are followed. It’s a good idea to review your designations after serious life changes such as divorce or marriage and every three to five years. If you fail to make updates, your assets may be given to the wrong people.
- Don’t take the time to plan for medical emergencies or disability. MISTAKE. Some people take the time to create a will but do not complete the rest of their estate planning. It’s important to prepare for medical emergencies. Creating a living will allows you to outline important decisions about medical procedures and treatments. This includes deciding if you’d like to remain on life support at the very end of life. It’s also a good idea to appoint a medical and financial power of attorney agent who will be responsible for helping you to make medical and financial decisions during your time of need.
- Do your own estate planning. MISTAKE. Many people try to cut down the costs of planning by doing their own planning. This can be extremely risky. Doing your own planning could result in serious errors that can affect your future and that of your family. Your estate planning attorney will be able to create a custom plan that fits your needs and goals.
If you have any questions about the above estate planning mistakes or if you need help with your individual estate plan, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.