April 28, 2021 3 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid You want to give your loved ones an inheritance that represents the legacy you are leaving them. Unfortunately, making mistakes when creating your plan can undermine that goal. In some situations, a loved one’s inheritance can actually create more problems than benefits. You can avoid those situations with careful planning. Below are just a few estate planning mistakes that we have seen from time to time and information on how you can avoid repeating those mistakes. Mistake #1 Not Discussing Your Plan with Family and Friends Talking about your estate plan with loved ones is difficult—no one likes to talk about when they will pass away. However, it is necessary if you want your loved ones to understand and appreciate the goals you are trying to accomplish in your will or as part of your overall plan. In some situations, your loved ones can tell you why your plan might not work or that they do not want whatever you were planning on giving. Having this conversion as part of your planning process will be very beneficial for everyone. The Fix: Talk to Your Loved Ones About Your Plan Having a conversation with your potential beneficiaries can go a long way. Speak to that person directly, rather than relying on advice from family and friends. Individual conversations are often the best approach, as well. However, if you plan to leave several people a piece of the same thing, one conversation with everyone might make sense. Mistake #2 Naming Just One Beneficiary Keep in mind that you are planning for (hopefully) years or even decades into the future. By the time your estate plan needs to be used, things may have changed. Others may pass before you, or they may become incapacitated or otherwise unavailable. In some situations, your assets can go back to the state if the people or entities you name are no longer available and you have no other heirs. The Fix: Name More Than One Beneficiary While regularly updating your estate plan is important, you can avoid many problems by setting out more than one beneficiary or successor beneficiaries for all of your assets. Designate a contingent or successor beneficiary for each asset. Mistake #3 Failing to Plan Your estate plan is just that—a plan. You need to take affirmative action to set out what you do and do not want to happen after you pass. Making that plan legally binding will help ensure that your wishes are carried out. The Fix: Work with a Professional to Create a Plan that Works for You At the Law Offices of Dan Kellogg, we work hard to ensure we understand your goals and help you create a plan to obtain them. Creating a plan with a professional is one of the best things that you can do for your loved ones. Call today to set up an appointment: 425-227-8700.