June 5, 2017 Many people have an urge to put off estate planning. This is certainly understandable, as the entire concept deals with some uncomfortable topics. Yet, proper estate planning is incredibly important. If you want to protect your health and well-being, protect your underage children, and have a say in what will happen to your assets after you pass away, you need a well-crafted estate plan. Here, our experienced Renton estate planning lawyers highlight four of the most common estate planning mistakes. Waiting Too Long The single biggest mistake that many people make is simply putting off estate planning for another day. Far too frequently, people pass away or become incapacitated before they actually have a chance to create an estate plan that protects themselves and their assets. When this happens, a person is put at the whims of state law, an unfortunate fate that leads to many undesirable results. Not Planning for Incapacitation When thinking about estate planning, most people think about planning for what will happen to their assets when they pass way. There is no doubt that asset planning is a key part of estate planning, but it is not everything. You also need to create a plan that instructs your loved ones on what should happen to you in the event that you become incapacitated. To protect yourself, you should grant a trusted loved one with your durable power of attorney and set up advance healthcare directives. Not Setting up Guardianship Plan for Children If you have minor children, you need to set up a plan that takes care of your children should something happen to you. Indeed, your plan should be comprehensive, ideally providing financial support in the form of life insurance, and appointing a qualified legal guardian who will have the proper legal framework in place to take possession of your children without any delay. Relying Entirely on a Will to Cover Your Assets A will is the core document of any good estate plan. In some cases, a will is the best, most cost-effective way to distribute your assets. Yet, that is not always the true. In fact, if you have a complex estate or if you have a substantial amount of assets to pass on, a will may be ineffective for your needs. Indeed, using it for asset distribution may even create conflict. You should look into alternative estate planning devices, including living trusts. Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today It is never too early to begin estate planning. For help crafting the plan that best suits your individual needs, please reach out an experienced Renton estate planning attorney today. If you find yourself in need of estate planning assistance, contact us online or give us a call at 425-227-8700. We get involved with our clients’ estate planning issues and are available every step of the way.