When you make an estate plan, it’s possible to make mistakes, especially if you take a do-it-yourself approach to estate planning or you do not periodically review and revise your estate plan. Unfortunately, some estate planning mistakes are not discovered until the person who made the estate plan dies, and at that point, it is too late to correct them. Working with a Kansas estate planning attorney can significantly reduce the likelihood that you’ll encounter one of the following estate planning blunders. Even better, if you already have an estate plan and you realize that you have made one of these mistakes, your estate planning attorney may be able to help you correct it and get your estate plan back on track.
One common estate planning mistake that many people make is thinking that they can make their estate plan on their own, without the aid of an estate planning attorney. Do it yourself estate planning is not advisable, as it attempts to provide a standard solution to a very individualized need. Estate planning goes far beyond making a will. The estate planning products that are available for consumer use often miss the subtler points of estate planning, leaving you with an estate plan that at best scratches the surface of what you could accomplish through estate planning and at worst with a will that gets rendered invalid, leaving your entire estate subject to the state’s laws of probate and intestate succession.
Incomplete estate planning is another mistake that some people make. Some of the documents that are created during the estate planning process require follow-through, like trusts. It is not enough to create a trust on paper; the trust must also be funded by the settlor, who must follow the proper procedures for putting money and assets into the trust. Funding a trust is something that is best accomplished with the aid of an attorney and or a financial planner, as it involves retitling assets, changing beneficiary designations, obtaining appropriate insurance, and obtaining proper confirmation that things are as they should be. Trusts are an excellent estate planning tool, but using them successfully requires follow-through and attention to detail for them to work as intended.
Taking a set-it-and-forget-it approach is another estate planning mistake that some people make. Since your life involves some amount of change, your estate plan must be periodically reviewed and updated to account for any changes in your life since you made the plan or since you last updated it. Families grow, assets get sold, and estate planning goals can change. Your estate planning attorney can review your estate plan with you, identify any changes you may want or need to make, and check to make sure that your current estate plan reflects what you see as your estate planning goals.
Working with a Kansas estate planning attorney is the best way to avoid all kinds of estate planning mistakes and choose the right estate plan for your needs. If you are interested in beginning, revising, or correcting an estate plan, call Wichita estate planning attorney J. Joseph Weber today, at 316-265-7802. Alternately, you may contact online for your convenience.