February 15, 2017 Though you may be uncomfortable discussing your own death, there are discussions you need to have to make your passing less stressful on your loved ones when it does happen. Estate planning is not something that should be done last minute, as it requires careful consideration and preparation in order to avoid making common mistakes that could lead to potential legal problems. Here are some common mistakes individuals make when rush-planning their estate, and some possible solutions: Putting It Off. Too many people put off their estate planning and pass away before they have a chance to make a will or trust. When this happens, the state is responsible for distributing the deceased individual’s assets. If you have assets or valuables that you would like to go to certain loved ones, do not put off making your will until it is too late. Not Naming a Guardian for a Minor Child. If you have small children, it is more important than ever that you make arrangements for them in the event of your premature death. By naming a guardian for your children, you can prevent them from having to wait for the court to appoint a guardian for them. Additionally, you can make sure that they are placed in the care of an individual who will love and care for them as you would, and not just the first family member the courts deem suitable. Assuming That Your Will Covers All of Your Assets. Despite common belief, a will does not cover all of a person’s assets. Things such as life insurance policies, retirement plans, and IRAs are not covered by a will. Instead, the primary beneficiary designation under the policy or plan trumps the will. If you were recently divorced and have already removed your ex-spouse from the will but have yet to remove them from your policies, they still stand to gain from your death. Not Planning for Incapacities. Estate planning documents are not just for planning your death; they are also great tools for planning for your future healthcare needs. If you ever become incapacitated, a power of attorney will allow a designated individual to make health care and financial decisions on your behalf. Without such a document in place, court proceedings will be required to name a conservator, which could become costly and unpleasant for all involved. Consult a Renton Estate Planning Lawyer Whether you are in the beginning stages of estate planning or you need to make changes to your existing estate planning documents, Renton estate planning attorney Dan Kellogg will guide you throughout the entire process and advise you on the best way to protect your assets, your loved ones, and yourself. To schedule a consultation with Dan Kellogg today, call 425-227-8700 or use our online contact form.