We encourage everyone to set up an estate plan, so that they will know their assets will be distributed they way they want after they die. This is especially true for married people and parents, even if they are still young. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
You should be able to avoid the future pitfalls of a poorly crafted estate plan if you follow the advice of an experienced attorney. But for those starting to think about creating or amending their will or trust, here are some mistakes to avoid, as provided by Forbes:
- Putting it off. It is not true that people without a lot of wealth, or those with a simple financial portfolio, do not have use for an estate plan. No matter how modest or straightforward your assets are, if you die without a will or trust, the court will disburse the assets according to Florida law. This may not happen the way you want.
- Forgetting to include all your assets. Everyone knows to include their bank accounts, real estate and personal property in their will or trust. But many do not think of other personal assets, such as their online media. If you do not take action, your email, photographs and social media postings could be left in limbo.
- Not making adjustments over the years. You may not be married to the same person at the end of your life as you were when you crafted your estate plan. Or you may have more children, or other new loved ones could enter your life. You have the right to change your estate plan to reflect your new reality.
A well-crafted estate plan, done with the assistance of an attorney, will be comprehensive and reflect the testator’s wishes.