The process involved in planning an estate is much and they can be confusing especially to those who are new to estate plan. Also, it involves many independent documents which have different functions in an estate plan. For instance your will document names an executor and designate your estate among your heirs but the health care proxy will name the person who will take charge of making your medical decisions in case of incapacitation.
With this many processes and many documents involved in estate planning, it is very easy for someone to make a mistake especially when you are planning your estate without the assistance and guardians of a professional attorney. While some estate planning blunders can be very difficult to fix, most of them cannot be fixed then some will be very costly to fix.
- Choosing a wrong legal representative
In an estate plan, lots of representatives play different roles for instance the role of an executor, the role of an agent or attorney-in-fact, the role of a trustee, the role of a legal guardian for your minor, your estate planning team, etc.
Your estate planning team: Your estate planning team will include your attorney, estate planner, financial adviser, etc. in order for your estate to be properly planned out without blunders. You should be open to your estate planning team with all your documents and intentions in order for them to be able to properly plan your estate.
Executor: The executor is the person who will make sure all your instructions are properly followed to the letter. You should carefully choose who will be your executor in order to avoid mismanagement of your estate. You should open up to your executor so that he or she will have enough information about your estate as this will enable them to properly carry out their role. Also, you should inform them that you have chosen them as your executor.
Guardian for your minor: The persons whom you choose as guardian for your children should be someone you trust to properly take care of your minor in case you become incapacitated or in the case of death.
Health care proxy: The person who you name as your health care proxy should be properly briefed about your medical choices. For instance you would like to donate your viable organs after you die.
Financial power of attorney: This is the person who will be making decisions regarding your estate in case you become incapacitated or in the case of death. This person should have proper idea about financial management. You should enlighten this person about your estate so he will be able to properly manage your finance.
- No proper evaluation and plan for your beneficiaries
Your beneficiaries are the persons whom will benefit from your estate when you die. These persons could be your children, spouse, parents, siblings, close relatives, friends, charity, etc. You specify in your will whom your heirs are and what you wish to give to each and every one of them. You can decide to give part of your estate to charity like orphanage homes, homes of disabled, etc. you will also specify this in your will.
Before choosing your beneficiaries, you should properly evaluate your decision in order to avoid giving the wrong assets to the wrong persons. You might want to answer certain questions before designating an asset to a particular person. For instance, will he be able to manage and maintain this asset? Can he make the most out of it? You should be smart about this decision and try to avoid sentiments. For instance, you shouldn’t designate your law firm to your first son who is a Medical Doctor just because he is your first son. This decision of yours could ruin all your effort and labor in setting up the firm.
- Doing it your self
Getting things done by one’s self is a very nice and cool idea but how accurate will the result be? When it comes to estate planning, one way or the other you must definitely need the assistance of a professional attorney. Estate planning blunders can be as a result of you trying to do it yourself. Of a truth the internet has many resources and templates concerning estate planning but you still need a professional attorney who will guard you physically through every process.
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