Top 5 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid in New York

While many people want to avoid thinking about the end of their life, it is actually very important. There are many issues that can arise when putting together an estate plan, some that can have devastating consequences such as not having control over the future of your assets. When considering your options and making your plans, it is essential that you take a number of things into account. We’ve put together the top 5 Estate Planning mistakes and how to avoid them.

Getting ready to create a plan for after your death means taking the time to learn all about the various options and what would be best for you and your loved ones. It also means understanding common mistakes that are made by those who are estate planning in New York so that you can avoid them.

Estate Planning Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re estate planning because there are so many complexities involved. Hiring an estate planning firm will help you to walk through the process and keep you from making these unfortunate, yet common, mistakes:

Not making a plan at all

One of the worst mistakes you can make is to not make a plan at all. If you fail to make a will or a trust, you’re setting yourself and your family up for a lot of heartache and difficulty.

Those who die without a will have their estate and assets go through probate, which essentially means that the court decides what to do with your estate, and the deceased does not. If your estate goes into probate, it can take years before things are settled. For that time, your family may be left without any inheritance whatsoever. Not only that, fees and taxes will be taken out of your estate, leaving the eventual beneficiaries with less.

It’s very important to take the time and make the plan for after you’ve passed. Your family will thank you for it.

Trying to do it by yourself

If you just want a basic estate plan, you may be tempted to save money and do it all yourself. However, this mistake can end up costing you and your family dearly. One problem with this approach is that there are a large number of legalities involved in making an estate plan, and it’s not likely that you’re going to understand them all on your own. Making a legal mistake can prove disastrous for your heirs.

Not only that, but you may find that you end up missing out on certain things you qualify for that would end up benefiting you and your family. Depending on your financial circumstances, your retirement plan, and even your insurance policies, there may be more work involved than you realize. Instead of trying to go it alone, contact Steller Law for experienced and knowledgeable professionals with your best interest at heart.

Not considering family

Believe it or not, even though part of the purpose of estate planning is often to make sure your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone, there are some people who actually forget to think of their family when they’re creating their estate plan. Not only do they not take the necessary steps in their plan to ensure they are benefiting their families, they sometimes just forget about it altogether.

Or, on the other hand, they don’t consider the consequences of leaving certain things to certain people. For example, those with a lot of money may not think twice about leaving an inheritance to someone in their family. However, they may end up leaving an inheritance for the wrong person, such as an addict or one that is likely to lose it.

Carefully consider your family and what the right thing for each person will be before you create the estate plan. That way, when it’s time to get it done, you’ll know what you need to do.

Having an unfunded trust

Creating a trust is a great idea, yet one of the biggest mistakes that people make when making their trusts is that they forget to fund it. Funding your trust means switching the owner of your assets to the trust in order to keep your them from being riddled with

If you leave any of your assets out of the trust, it could end up going through probate and racking up loads of taxes.

Designating the wrong person as estate trustee

The executor of your estate is one of the most important people, and it’s essential that you choose the right person for the job. Your estate’s executor will basically be your spokesperson and will make decisions on your behalf.

If you choose the wrong person, they may very likely make decisions that you wouldn’t approve of or want. Many stories are told of executor’s making selfish decisions, or even stealing from estates that they’re in charge of.

Do yourself and your family a favor and think long and hard before choosing your trust’s executor.

Law Offices of Kyle A Steller for Estate Planning

You don’t want to make any of these common mistakes when creating your estate plan, and Steller Law will ensure that you don’t. Our team of expert estate planning attorneys will be able to guide you through the process, discuss legal issues, and help you to make the right decisions in regards to your assets.

Contact The Law Offices of Kyle A Steller today and get planning!

Consult with an Elder Law Attorney

Fill our form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Elder Law Attorney. If you need guidance with wills, trusts, medicaid planning, asset protection or any other service Kyle Steller provides. Kyle serves families and individuals in Ulster County, Dutchess County and throughout the Hudson Valley of New York. Schedule your consultation using the form here, or call Kyle at 845-489-8712