The last thing you want to worry about is your estate being messy after your passing. Many of us spend ample time thinking about what we’ll leave behind for our families when we’re no longer here. A properly planned estate is in order and leaves no detail unaddressed; whereas a messily or sloppily planned estate can cost your families thousands of dollars and can result in unneeded stresses. Use these tips to avoid 8 common Atlanta estate planning errors in advance, and rest easy knowing that your family is covered with proper risk management in estate planning.
8 Common Atlanta Estate Planning Errors to Avoid
- Omitting beneficiaries. This is one of the most common estate planning errors in Atlanta that we see. This can result in delays in the execution of your estate. It can also cause your estate to go into lengthy reviews, probate and even be subjected to the meddling of creditors.
- Not planning for remarriage. Many people will get remarried in their lifetime, but some will forget to remove an ex-spouse from their IRA. Doing so can have devastating consequences for your new family and the execution of your estate after your passing.
- Failure to address guardianship issues with minors listed as beneficiaries in the estate. Make sure you clearly outline who or what entity is the guardian of the minor’s inheritance, as well as how you want the inheritance and its distribution managed.
- Improper tax planning. This can lead to a host of issues, namely, your estate’s money being exposed to higher tax rates than necessary. The best estate planning approach equalizes the estate by balancing assets and holdings to minimize tax exposure and liability.
- Failure to add a residuary clause. This type of clause specifically covers any items that are not included in your trust or in your will. These can even include possessions you might one day own before you die. This residuary clause assures that there is no question on who gets what after your passing.
- Not planning ahead. Anything can happen. Knowing this means that planning in advance for the unexpected is important. Things can change… like your spouse’s health could go into decline, or your assets may become adjusted. To best protect yourself and your family’s exposure, you can plan ahead by assigning certain assets to trusts, which gives you control on who can access them and who is the beneficiary of them.
- Failing to plan your estate at all. You’d be surprised at how many people simply avoid estate planning because they don’t want to accept their own mortality. The reality is that we will all die at some point — it’s a matter of when, not if. Planning in advance helps protect the ones you love from the unforeseeable.
- Failing to make updates to your living will. This can end up costing your family thousands of dollars, and can also lead to contested wills, probate and expensive litigation. If and when things change, make sure you have your will updated to reflect these changes. This way, there’s no question about your intentions after your passing.
Estate planning can be complex. A properly planned estate requires the oversight of an experienced legal professional to best protect your interests, reduce tax liability and help ensure that your estate is divided among your heirs as intended. Our law firm has vast experience in Atlanta estate planning, and can help create a strong plan of action for your estate today. Give us a call to see how we can help.