To think some estate plan misconceptions and common estate mistakes haven’t done much damage to estate planning is unprecedented. One popular mistake is taking someone else estate plan template to create yours. While wills are now downloadable online, be aware that estate planning is not one-size-fits-all. There may be a need to customize your will, trust as well as other estate documents to suit your estate goals without compromising the validity of your document, and it becomes imperative you seek help from an experienced estate planning lawyer near you.
So many people feel they can handle estate planning on their own and so end up not considering critical issues therefore complicating things for their loved ones after death. This section aims to highlight some of these mistakes:
- Thinking estate planning is only for the wealthy — Regardless of the value, whatever assets and belongings you have in your name are called your estate. If all you have is a car and a bank account with two children, if you do not state clearly whom you want the car to go to, then there likely will be squabbles over it when you die.
- Neglecting estate tax — In New York, estate tax is an amount payable to the State when you die leaving an estate worth over $5.85 million. The tax can reach up to 16%, which is a considerable amount. If your estate will be subject to this and you wish to avoid it, your attorney can help achieve that by gifting, establishing trusts, etc.
- Not planning for probate — If you create a will to disburse your estate, then a complex, lengthy and expensive court process known as probate must be carried out after your death to validate the will. Probate is more complex for complex estates and traumatic for grieving families. Holding assets in a trust instead of a will can avoid probate. When only a few assets are addressed in the will, probate will be less complicated.
- Neglecting incapacity planning — Some people feel estate planning is all about planning for disbursement of one’s estate after death. Ideally, it also has to do with the management of said estate during incapacity. There is incapacity when you are no longer legally competent to make reasonable decisions for yourself. It can be caused by a number of factors including age and cognitive disorders that come with it. Through incapacity planning, you create documents to authorize a fiduciary to make decisions on your behalf when you become suddenly incapacitated.
- Not updating your estate plan — If you have already created an estate plan, it is important to review it from time to time. This is because as life continues, situations change which would require a relative change to your estate plan. For example, new births, divorce, marriage, death of a beneficiary or executor may require a change to your will. Estate planning laws are also frequently changing. If you have an estate planning attorney near you, have them review your estate plan to see if it currently coincides with your present wishes and goals.
What could go wrong with a ‘do it yourself’ estate plan?
It could be tempting and perhaps less expensive to make estate plans all by yourself. The dangers lies in not creating the proper plans which would be fit to stand in New York. While it may not be bad self-engaging in some estate planning steps, it is a bad idea to go do it all yourself without involving an estate planning attorney near you.
While wills are now downloadable online, be aware that estate planning is not one-size-fits-all. There may be a need to customize your will, trust as well as other estate documents to suit your estate goals without compromising the validity of your document, and it becomes imperative you seek help from an experienced estate planning lawyer near you.
Contact an estate Planning Attorney near you today.
If you aren’t an estate planning attorney, you may require the help of one when planning your estate. A competent estate planning Attorney has the necessary resources, experience, and knowledge to ensure that your estate plan covers all your wish. An estate planning attorney can also offer you valuable advice regarding how you should plan your estate to avoid the much-dreaded probate process.
If you reside in the city of New York and you need the assistance of a good estate planning attorney for your estate, you can count on us! We boast of the best estate planning attorney in the state. Contact us now!