Although it can be difficult to acknowledge, California residents must accept the realization that they won’t live forever at one point or another. Planning ahead can help to ensure that loved ones are taken care of when the inevitable happens. However, as good as your intentions may be, it can be easy to make a myriad of mistakes when planning your affairs.
How do estate planning mistakes happen?
Estate planning attorneys and financial planners will probably tell you that the biggest mistake you can make is to not have a plan at all. Even creating a basic will is better than doing nothing. Since your situation is very different than others’, there’s no “one size fits all” approach to estate planning. That means that a do-it-yourself approach or relying on generic forms may not be suitable.
Examples of common estate planning mistakes
Many estate planning mistakes that happen involve the distribution of assets. For example, you might have taken the right steps to planning your estate by relying on a professional to draft your will, trust and other important documents. There may come a time when your situation changes, though. In this case, your original documents will no longer serve your intended purposes. Make sure you update your plan after major life events such as:
- The birth of a child
- The death of a beneficiary
Another common mistake is leaving behind a messy estate. It’s easy to misplace or lose important papers if you don’t keep your documents organized. If your beneficiaries don’t fully understand what you own, they won’t know what paperwork to look for.
When should you start estate planning?
The best time to begin planning your estate is now. You’re never too young to think about what will happen to your belongings after you’re gone.