Estate Lawyer Phoenix, AZ Trusts Discusses Common Estate Planning Mistakes
Estate plans are not just for wealthy families. Rather, anyone who has at least one item of value, such as a bank account, property, car, or artwork, should have an estate plan. This can maximize the value of the assets you pass on to your heirs, prevent lengthy disputes in a court, and help you to make informed decisions while you are alive. While you can draw up an estate plan on your own, it is advisable to have a Phoenix AZ estate lawyer help you. At the minimum, you should ask a lawyer to review your plan to ensure everything you wish will legally hold up in a court of law.
What are some common estate planning mistakes made by people?
- Not having an estate plan. This is the most common mistake, and also carries the most consequences. If you avoid planning an estate, there is a good chance that your beneficiaries will end up in a legal mess that is rife with challenges and large fees.
- Failing to update a will. Whenever there is a change in the family, you should have your lawyer update your will. Change can include a death, birth, divorce, new business structure and so forth.
- Failing to plan for a disability or health condition. Certain health conditions, illnesses, and disabilities can have serious consequences. In your estate plan, you should address who will take care of your finances and children or make healthcare decisions should you become disabled or incapacitated. An estate lawyer might recommend a power of attorney and living trust to be included in your estate plan.
- Naming your child on the deed. Although you might think you are doing your child a favor by naming them on the deed to your property, you are actually gifting them with a very large tax. A Phoenix AZ lawyer might suggest passing your property to your children through an inheritance instead.
- Naming the wrong executor. It is very important to take time to consider who you will name as the executor of your estate. If you choose the wrong person, disputes, mishandled assets, and other complications could arise.
- Not taking advantage of the federal tax exemption. If you are married, each spouse can take advantage of a $675,000 tax exemption. This means when one spouse dies, part of the estate is protected under a credit shelter trust. An estate lawyer can explain whether or not you qualify for this during your consultation.
- Putting your estate planning off. It’s easy to procrastinate or ignore the fact that you should have an estate plan. However, it is possible that putting things off could have its consequences. Don’t wait, meet with an experienced Phoenix AZ estate planning lawyer as soon as possible.
An estate lawyer Phoenix, AZ clients recommend can discuss further mistakes to avoid so that you can feel confident in knowing you’ve covered all of your bases and have a solid, legally upholding estate plan.