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Common estate planning mistakes you should avoid

Most people in Florida do not enjoy thinking about their deaths, but that does not need to prevent them from taking measures to protect their estates and loved ones’ futures. They may try to rush through the estate planning process so they can think about more pleasant things.

As morbid as the situation may seem, procrastinating and rushing with your estate plans can result in mistakes that create financial and familial problems in the future.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid while preparing your estate plan:

  • Not including key provisions: You should first focus on establishing health care and financial powers of attorney and a will. The powers of attorney are necessary to ensure the protection of your health and wealth in the event of illness and injury that leave you unable to make important decisions yourself. The will gives you the power to decide who you want your children’s legal guardians to be if you die before they become adults. You should also pay close attention to who you name as your executor. Any person you choose to have some control or responsibility in handling your final affairs should be trustworthy, responsible and organized.
  • Not updating estate plans regularly: Many people create their estate plans and then fail to review and update them every few years and when major life events happen. Not updating your will can result in your current wishes not being followed. It can also result in the disinheriting of loved ones, disputes and the devaluing of your estate. You should review your estate plans regularly and anytime you gain or lose a family member, income and assets.
  • Not reviewing their retirement and life insurance beneficiaries: Many people assume that once they create their wills and name their beneficiaries, those selections will fall over to their retirement and life insurance policies. That is not the case. Retirement and life insurance proceeds go to the beneficiaries on file with the institutions that manage them. When reviewing your estate plans, you should also take some time to review the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and life insurance policies for accuracy.

When creating your estate plan, your instructions should be clear and concise. You should name all heirs and people you are assigning estate administration responsibilities to by their legal names to prevent confusion. Taking the time to review and update your estate plans can ensure that your estate passes to your heirs the way you intend and prevent family disputes.

Get help preparing your estate plan: Call Korshak & Associates at 407-680-1471.

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