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Easily avoided: common estate planning errors

Experts say there are common mistakes to avoid when buying a used car (for instance, don’t shop at just one dealership), a home (buying more house than you can afford) and a business (buying a company that isn’t suited to your skill set).

Experts also say there are common mistakes to avoid when planning your estate. The worst of them all is the easiest to avoid: having no estate plan at all.

While no one can escape death, you can help your loved ones avoid the time-consuming, often lengthy Florida probate process by sitting down with an experienced attorney and creating an estate plan. In that way, your wishes for how your assets will be divided and distributed will be honored – an outcome far preferable than having the state of Florida deciding who will get what and how.

Another common estate planning mistake to avoid: failing to update your will. Change in families and business are inevitable over time, and it is important to make sure that your estate documents reflect those changes.

Experts also say that too many people fail to decide who will make financial and healthcare decisions for them in the event that they are incapacitated. These important matters can be taken care with a living trust and/or a healthcare power of attorney (or designating a healthcare surrogate).

Another avoidable error: not taking steps to help reduce estate taxes. In many situations, making gifts to individuals, organizations and others can result in significant tax reductions that can simultaneously have a positive impact on people and causes that you favor.

There are many other common mistakes you can avoid by simply sitting down with a Cocoa lawyer experienced in protecting assets and families with effective estate planning.

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