Despite what many people think, estate planning isn’t the domain of rich, famous people. Most have at least one asset, such as a home, car or bank account, and they can benefit from good planning. An estate planning lawyer in Green Bay, WI can maximize the value passed on to one’s heirs, and it can give the planner the chance to make decisions while they’re still alive. Below are several mistakes that should be avoided during the estate planning process.
Not Planning at All
The most common error is not having any kind of estate plan. Death is something everyone must face, but planning can help one ensure that their affairs will be properly handled when it occurs. Consult Brabazon Law Office, LLC for help and advice on protecting one’s financial and personal affairs.
Failing to Update the Will
Changes occur within families, such as deaths, divorces, property acquisitions and births. Therefore, to ensure that one’s assets are given to the intended beneficiary, they should periodically review the will and update it as required.
Not Planning for Disaster
Death isn’t the only reason to engage in estate planning. Long-term or catastrophic disabilities can often have devastating consequences on one’s financial and personal life. Therefore, it might be necessary to give someone the power of attorney or form a living trust, which protects the planner’s interests when they can no longer do so.
Not Reducing Estate Taxes
A common error is to not make planned gifts to reduce estate taxes. According to the IRS, up to $13,000 in gifts per year can be given tax-free. Not only does this leave more funds for distribution, but it can also positively affect a person or cause of the planner’s choosing.
Choosing the Wrong Handler
Sometimes, a person’s number one choice isn’t the right person to manage an estate. For instance, if one believes a spouse can effectively manage the estate, there may be an objective party who can do the job more effectively. An estate planning lawyer in Green Bay, WI can help a person choose the right estate executor.
Not Calling a Lawyer
Not hiring an estate planning attorney is one of the most serious errors a person can make, especially if his or her estate is complicated. An experienced local attorney can offer tax planning strategies based on one’s needs, and they can help a client minimize or avoid significant estate taxes.