Common Mistakes You Don’tby Charles B Pyke, Jr. (Pyke & Associates, P.C.)
Although everyone’s estate plan is unique, there are a number of common mistakes that can cause your loved ones unnecessary grief down the road. Here’s just a few of the mistakes people make when planning their estate:
Doing It Yourself
I can’t count the number of people who think it’s fine to write their own Will. Or equally as bad, they’ll download a do-it-yourself form off the Internet. Estate planning is a complex legal area that is governed by a whole host of rules and regulations. If you have the wrong form, if it’s not signed in the right place or if you’ve somehow missed something else along the way, there’s a good chance that your homemade Will won’t be honored and a judge will decide how your estate is distributed.
Forgetting the Big Picture
Estate planning isn’t just about having a Will and ensuring that your best friend gets your coin collection. Quite the contrary, estate planning is about protecting your loved ones, providing for them as best you can and also protecting you and your estate if you should become disabled.
There are so many tools and strategies that can be used to create a solid and complete plan. This, by the way, is another reason not to do it yourself – you’ll never know about all the great tools available.
Never Updating Your Plan
The Will you created ten years ago is probably not the Will you need today. Let’s face it: there will be changes and they will occur in 3 areas: the law will change, your circumstances will change and the attorneys advice, which is always dependent on the law and your situation will, of necessity, change.
Keeping your estate plan updated is an important part of creating it. You want to be sure that your plan always reflects your estate and your most current wishes.
Not Getting Organized
Your Will and other estate planning documents won’t do anyone any good if they can’t be found. Getting organized means gathering up all those important documents and putting them in a safe and accessible place. Tell your loved ones where that place is and make sure to include things like the location of the key for your safe deposit box, your bank account numbers and other pertinent information that your family might need after you’re gone.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Atlanta GA of the Pyke & Associates P.C. offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Atlanta GA. To learn more about these free resources, please visit www.cpyke.com today.