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Friday, June 21, 2019

Avoid These Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Everyone should have an estate plan in place. However, prior to beginning the process, it's imperative to consult with an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney. In addition to ensuring that your estate planning documents are valid and enforceable under Michigan law, an experienced estate planning attorney will help you avoid common estate planning mistakes. Below are some of the most common mistakes that people make during the estate planning process. 

Failing to plan – The worst estate planning mistake people often make is not doing anything at all. Regardless of your financial situation, you absolutely must create an estate plan. Creating an estate plan not only benefits your heirs and beneficiaries, but it gives you important peace of mind regarding your financial affairs.

Only focusing on tax avoidance – Reducing your tax liability is one of the many benefits of estate planning. In fact, tax avoidance is one of the primary reasons people create estate plans. However, there are several additional reasons to create an estate plan that have nothing to do with taxation. For more information on the many benefits of estate planning, contact a Michigan estate planning attorney as soon as possible. 

Failing to communicate with affected individuals - Once you have created an estate plan with the assistance of an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney, it's important to communicate with those individuals who are affected by the plan. The failure to do so can create problems down the road, such as will challenges by disgruntled family members. 

Leaving assets to minors – You shouldn't leave property directly to minors, as a minor cannot own legal property of any kind in his or her name. Rather, a guardian must be appointed to manage  property on a minor's behalf until he or she reaches adulthood. If you have property you'd like to leave to a minor, be sure to discuss the possibility of creating a trust with your estate planning attorney. 

Failure to update your estate plan – An estate plan is never truly finished. As your circumstances change, so should your estate plan. Deaths in the family, divorce, job changes, a new home, and many other issues can require changes to your estate plan. Even refinancing your home can result in an outdated estate plan, making it imperative that you periodically review your plan with your  Michigan estate planning attorney. 

Michigan Estate Planning Attorneys

Estate planning can be difficult, and it’s easy to overlook important steps when trying to navigate the process alone. Whether you are drafting a will, choosing an executor, or are in the beginning stages of estate planning, we recommend that you consider contacting an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney to discuss your options. If you’d like to begin the estate planning process, please contact one of our experienced Michigan attorneys for a consultation. 

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