If you are age 60 or older, you may be thinking about your future in terms of retirement and beyond. Estate planning is an essential part of this phase of your life because it ensures the fulfillment of your wishes regarding the handling of your assets and property.
Unfortunately, many people make some critical mistakes when it comes to planning for the future of their assets. Estate planning mistakes can cause hardship for the family members you leave behind after you die. It can also make your wishes null and void, if the processes you use to prepare legal documents were carried out incorrectly. As you approach your estate planning, ensure that you avoid these critical mistakes.
1. Putting off planning
When it comes to estate planning, people tend to generally think there's always time to do it later. The whole process can seem complex, and most people do not particularly like to think about the idea of their own death. However, the sooner you begin the process, the better. One survey found that only four in 10 Americans age 60 or over have estate planning documents in place to handle their financial and health affairs if they are unable to do so.
2. Thinking a will is all you need
Most people understand that a will is the basic document that designates how to distribute assets following a person's death. The mistake is thinking that a will is the only relevant document. For example, a will cannot help you to carry out your wishes if you become medically incapacitated. There are a range of important documents that make up a comprehensive estate plan, including things such as powers of attorney and advanced directives.
3. Keeping sloppy records
Even if you do have essential estate planning documents in place, it is a mistake to manage them in a haphazard way. Once you create an estate plan, you should be meticulous about the organization of those documents and ensure that the people who need to know where they are can have easy access to them.
Estate planning is an essential part of moving into the later years of your life, and an early investment in the process can save you a lot of time and money down the road. Contact an estate planning attorney to help you establish a plan that meets your needs and the needs of the family members you will leave behind after your death.