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Common Mistakes in the Estate Planning Process

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If you are beginning to consider starting the estate planning process, you may feel overwhelmed at the choices and the complexity of the legal options available to you. While you should always consult with a qualified estate planning attorney, the following are some common mistakes that people make as they move through the estate planning process.

Procrastination

The worst mistake people can make in the estate planning process is simply not starting. Many people wait too long to start and lose out on valuable ways to save money or ensure their finances are protected.

Failing to Talk To Family

You should always visit with your family members long before it becomes too difficult to do so. Let them know what your wishes are, and how they will be executed in your estate planning documents so that there are no surprises later. Contested wills can take time and cost a great deal of money. Make sure you communicate with your family early and often.

Write It Down

While telling your family is important, it will never be enough to solidify your wishes regarding your estate under the law. You will need to make sure that all of your wishes for your estate following your death are written down in a specific way to ensure that they are legally valid. Without a written document, the court will not be able to know what your true wishes concerning your estate actually were.

Consider Your Options 

Many people only think estate planning includes a last will and testament. However, a living trust or another document may serve you and your family much better as part of your estate plan depending on your circumstances.

Consider Disability

Unfortunately, many people become disabled, or mentally incapacitated during the course of their lifetime. As people age, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are common. Living trusts can help address these issues by allowing a person to access their financial assets prior to their death.

Consider Life Events

You may experience a divorce, in which case you will likely have substantial changes that need to be made to all of your estate planning documents. Additionally, if you have minor children, you may need to establish a legal guardian upon your death. Finally, you may want to leave assets to a minor, which must be done correctly or your wishes will not be allowed under the law. Your beneficiary may die which might change how you would like to have your assets distributed. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help protect your assets in all of these circumstances according to your wishes.

Let Us Help You Today

Other than waiting too long the next biggest mistake that people make is not visiting with experienced professionals to help them understand their legal rights regarding their estate and assets after their death.  Contact the experienced Prince Frederick estate & trust planning attorneys serving southern Maryland at the offices at Meng Law at 410-535-5500 or online today. We can help walk you through the entire estate planning process, and ensure that your wishes are followed following your death.

Resource:

registers.maryland.gov/main/publications/wills.html

https://www.menglaw.com/things-to-consider-when-writing-a-will/

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