Many people avoid thinking about an estate plan because the topic of mortality is too difficult to face. Death is not an easy topic, but it is inevitable and unpredictable. One of the easiest traps to fall into is thinking that you have plenty of time to sort it all out, and maybe you do. But if you don’t, there are no second chances. It is a safer bet to tackle your end-of-life planning sooner rather than later, and an estate planning attorney in Dallas can help you when you’re ready.
While procrastination is the most common mistake people make with their estate plans, this important process can be mishandled in many other ways. Our experienced Dallas estate planning lawyers are here to help you recognize mistakes you can avoid so that you can create an estate plan that meets your needs.
Five More Estate Planning Mistakes
In addition to procrastination, people make costly errors by:
Not Reviewing Existing Plans
Failing to review and update an estate plan is another common mistake. Creating an initial estate plan is often insufficient to protect your interests and family. Life is constantly in flux, which means your situation and preferences will change. Your estate plan should be adjusted accordingly. You should revisit your estate planning documents every few years, but also if any of the following occur:
- You move to a different state
- You acquire new property
- You get married or divorced
- A new baby joins your family
- A beneficiary or someone close to you dies
Leaving Family with Too Much to Sort
Grief can divide even the most tight-knit families. When you create your estate plan, it should clearly and explicitly lay out how assets will be divided amongst your loved ones. Maybe your children won’t battle over who gets the vacation home on Lake Brownwood, but they might be emotional about deciding how to divide family heirlooms or sentimental items. Having a clear estate plan can prevent your heirs and beneficiaries from the difficulty of working through those decisions themselves. A Dallas estate planning attorney can help lessen the burden on your family and friends by ensuring there is no confusion in your estate plan.
Forgetting About Themselves
Estate plans are not just to protect your property and the people you care about after you pass away. A properly drafted estate plan can also benefit you while you’re still living. Many people forget or do not realize the potential estate plans offer for this purpose. A power of attorney allows you to designate an agent or representative to make decisions for you if you cannot do so on your own. Communicate with this person to ensure that they understand your wishes and that you can trust them to make decisions with your best interests at heart.
Not Planning for the Cost of AgingIf you are fortunate enough to live a long life, costs will be incurred as you live out your golden years. When creating your estate plan, you and your estate planning attorney should consider what long-term care arrangements may cost and allocate assets for your beneficiaries in a way that protects them. This can prevent your estate’s property and assets from being used to cover these costs.
Ignoring Tax Laws
Taxes are often on the same level as estate planning when it comes to unenjoyable conversations, but taxes are sometimes an unavoidable part of end-of-life planning. Being informed is the first step, and that is something your estate planning attorney can help you with so that you achieve your estate planning goals.
Other mistakes are also possible. For example, you may forget about digital assets, name a minor as a beneficiary, or forget to name a guardian for your child. Our experienced estate planning lawyers are here to help you avoid all potential mistakes so that you create a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs.
Do You Need To Speak With An Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer In The Dallas Area?
If you need to speak to an experienced estate planning attorney please contact us online or call our Dallas office directly at 214.559.7202. We help clients throughout the Dallas area with all of their estate planning needs and look forward to helping you.