Top 6 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

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Top 6 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to estate planning, people make various costly mistakes. The worst thing is these mistakes are not realized until the inevitable happens, and it’s time to look into their estate plan. One mistake can render your estate planning document invalid, and then your family is thrown into confusion because your wishes will no longer be honored.

The first secret to ward yourself against making estate planning mistakes is to know about these mistakes so you can avoid them. But then, it is risky to do estate planning on your own as there are so many complexities involved. You are safer working with a legal professional who knows the laws and can help you avoid costly mistakes. For guidance in creating a proper estate plan in Buffalo, kindly contact us to speak with one of our estate planning lawyers.

Top 6 estate planning mistakes you should avoid

1.    Not planning at all

This may come as a shock, but it is one grave mistake many people in Buffalo make. A lot of people believe that once they die, their estate will be shared amongst their family members. But what about that niece, cousin, or grandchild you would have loved to support financially?

But even though you want everything to go to your spouse and kids alone, not creating an estate plan would be setting up your family for a whole lot of stress and heartache amidst your loss.

Without a will, your estate will go through the probate process. This is very expensive and lengthy, and the estate will be distributed according to New York laws. Therefore your children may not be receiving what you originally would have wanted for them. This means that you have no say, and the court will decide what happens to your estate. Due to the lengthy process, your family may be left with no funds to cater to their needs until the process concludes and they receive their inheritance.

2.    Not planning for estate tax

The estate tax exemption amount for New York is $5.85 million. If your estate exceeds this value, a value up to 16% will go to the state as tax before your beneficiaries can inherit the rest. This is a huge amount, money better off given to your loved one. Not planning for tax means you will not be getting the most of your estate. Estate planning lawyers in Buffalo are proficient in tax planning, and through certain legal strategies, can help you get the most out of your estate.

3.    Not making enough consideration for your family

In as much as you want to provide for your family through estate planning, it is possible that you do not give them sufficient consideration. Look at it this way. You may have a lot of money and so giving this, or that amount to John or Doe will not be difficult for you. But while doing this, you may forget to consider who deserves what asset most and who deserves more funds. You may end up giving too many funds to the wrong person who may likely lose it—such as a gambler or problem child—while leaving fewer funds to someone that needs more.

4.    Forgetting to fund (activate) your trust

You’ve created a trust. Great! But that’s not all. In fact, your trust is empty, inactive, and powerless until an asset is funded into it. Many people make the mistake of creating a trust without funding it, thinking that its creation alone will make all their assets pass outside probate. Only assets that are funded into the trust will pass outside probate.

5.    Choosing the wrong person as your fiduciary

Another common mistake people make while estate planning is choosing the wrong executor, trustee, or guardian. There are legal requirements for these positions. For example, only a New York resident can execute a New York will. So if you appoint that friend of yours in North Carolina to execute your will in Buffalo, they will not be allowed to.

You may also make the mistake of choosing someone because they’re a close family member, forgetting that they may not be competent or trustworthy enough to handle your trust, estate administration, or guardianship for your minors. When you choose the wrong person, your estate will suffer and consequently your loved ones.

6.    Not speaking with an estate planning lawyer Buffalo

It is wrong to believe you can always handle estate planning all by yourself, especially when you have little or no knowledge of estate laws applicable in this city. To ensure you get everything right, kindly contact and hire an experienced estate planning attorney.

Estate planning lawyers near me Buffalo

Looking for experienced estate planning lawyers near you in Buffalo? We are here to give you the best. Kindly call us today to get started.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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