The decision to sit down and create an estate plan is a smart one for people in many different stages of life. From new adults planning their college experience to new parents worried about who would care for their child after an emergency, many people would benefit from drafting a will and other estate planning documents.
Despite being a common and very necessary process, estate planning is a process with a very high potential for critical mistakes. Avoiding the three common mistakes related to wills below will help you create a more authoritative and useful will.
- Forgetting or omitting dependents
Maybe you have a dog or raise specialty horses as a hobby. Your estate plan needs to consider the care of those animals and their maintenance expenses, or they could end up euthanized or left in a pound after your death.
Additionally, you need to ensure that you include all of your dependent family members or mention by name your plan to leave them out of your will. Otherwise, forgetting someone might lead to that individual challenging your will in court.
- Failing to address certain property
You have digital assets, ranging from cryptocurrency holdings and domain names to social media accounts. You need to address those resources in your will so that other people can access or assume control over them after your death.
It is quite common for people to overlook their digital resources, particularly social media and online photograph repositories, when creating their wills. They may also forget to address their residuary estate or any property that they didn’t include by name in their documents elsewhere. Discussing what should happen to all of your different kinds of assets is important in any will.
- Only drafting a will and not thinking about their future
Planning for your death is one of the primary objectives of estate planning, but it is not the only function process serves. Estate planning can also be very important for those who become medically vulnerable later in life. Powers of attorney, advance medical directives and similar documents can provide instructions to others about your care after an emergency and give people the authority to help you.
When you avoid the mistakes that people most commonly make during estate planning, you maximize the protection for you and the people you love regardless of what the future holds.