What are common estate planning mistakes?

Are you a Florida resident finally tackling your estate plan? If so, there are many potential mistakes you should be on the look-out for.

FindLaw keeps a list of some of the most common estate planning mistakes to avoid. Many of these mistakes can be quite harmful both to you and your surviving loved ones.

The most common is not having an estate plan at all, or not keeping the components up to date. Despite popular beliefs, estate plans are not just for the wealthy. If you have even a single item of value that you want to pass on, such as a car or piece of land, you would benefit from an estate plan.

Additionally, times change and a will that you wrote over a decade ago may not reflect your current wishes. Be sure you update your will as often as necessary to reflect your current desires.

Another common mistake is not taking advantage of legal exemptions to avoid heaping taxes onto your loved ones. For example, there is a federal tax exemption of up to $11.18 million for any spouse you may leave behind. If you take this exemption, you can pass on a large portion of assets without your loved one having to worry about being taxed for it.

Finally, it is a mistake to have a plan that isn’t thorough. Plan for the possibility of becoming disabled or comatose. Make sure that the person you entrust your estate matters with can actually handle the workload and deal with things reasonably and calmly. Don’t procrastinate. Make sure everything is settled well before they need to be.

If you need help in getting all of this together in a timely manner, consider contacting an attorney who specializes in estate planning.

FindLaw Network