While no one likes to think about their own mortality, death is a fact of life, and end-of-life planning is a crucial part of financial planning regardless of your age or net worth.
According to a recent Caring.com survey, only four out of every 10 American adults have an estate plan in place, such as a will or trust. But, even for those who do have a plan, it’s important to keep from making mistakes that can cause personal and financial consequences for you and your family.
Beware of these blunders
When it comes to estate planning, there are mistakes that too many people make, including:
- Beneficiary oversights: Failing to name contingency beneficiaries on retirement accounts and insurance policies as well as not reviewing those choices after someone dies or you get divorced can increase tax burdens and cause other headaches.
- Guardianship issues: Parents will often leave money or other assets to their minor children but forget to name a guardian who will oversee those assets and care for their children if both parents die.
- Ownership imbalances: Having too many assets in one spouse’s name can increase tax liabilities leading to a reduction in the amount of an estate that is passed along to loved ones.
- Protection against unforeseen events: Estate planning is not only about passing along assets after you die, it’s also about choosing people who can make financial and medical decisions for you if you become ill or injured and can’t make those decisions yourself.
- Mortality avoidance: No one wants to think about death, especially their own. However, failing to put a plan in place causes chaos and added emotional pain for your family and keeps you from distributing your assets according to your wishes.
Find an estate plan that meets your needs
Every family is different, so it’s essential that you find an estate plan that is tailored to your own specific situation. An experienced and compassionate estate planning attorney here in Delaware can answer all your questions and find the plan that will give you and your family peace of mind.