Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid: Under-planning

Estate planning is a topic that everyone should consider. Unfortunately, many consider it a difficult topic to ponder, let alone act on.

“Often people will leave their wills until it’s too late, or they’ll do it once, quickly, and think it’s all covered,” explains Richard Cayne of Meyer International. “But there are many factors involved that need to be addressed and that need to be revisited to ensure that loved ones are cared for.”

Wills should not be breezed through or forgotten

It is understandable that the thought of our own mortality gives most people pause. But, regardless whether you have an extended family with an extensive list of assets or whether you’re single with very little saved up, you should have a will. Everyone should consider who they are leaving behind and how best to help them after your passing.

Estate planning can be complex, but there are some simple stumbling blocks that you should avoid, which should simplify the process.

Not planning enough almost as bad as not planning at all

Not planning at all: There are so many pitfalls for your loved ones and beneficiaries if you die without your estate being in order. For those with limited assets, you may think that the state may sort it all out for you, but do you want to rely on government regulations? Every jurisdiction has a variation of inheritance laws that will mete your assets out to your family, after taxing them, of course.

Not planning enough: Hand-writing a document, leaving your spouse “everything”, bequeathing your children lump sums, loosely describing your assets – for someone who is reluctant to spend to much time contemplating a will think that these are acceptable alternatives. Often, these half-hearted efforts will not be considered as legally binding, which has the same effect of not having written a will at all.

Find a trusted adviser to make sure your wishes are met

You’ve worked hard to care for yourself and for those whom you love, why not make sure that they are taken care of after you’re gone? A trusted adviser will help you navigate the potentially complex issues when it comes to estate planning.