Many people have a plan for tomorrow, next week and next year. However, when it comes to planning for our own death it can be uncomfortable and often procrastinated.
Probate can be a public, costly and lengthy process. Mistakes that are made during the estate planning process can make probate even more complicated.
Common estate planning mistakes to avoid
Estate and end-of-life planning is a way to proactively take control of the decision process. When undergoing thoughtful and comprehensive estate planning, it is important to avoid the following errors:
- Not having a plan: The biggest mistake that one could make is not having done estate planning at all. Estates that are not planned properly, or at all, will most likely fall into probate where it will be decided by the courts.
- Not staying updated: Estate plans need to be updated over time when situations and factors change. Failing to do so is a great way to create problems in the probate process.
- Planning for disability or long-term care: Estate planning not only deals with death but the whole gamut of end-of-life-related issues. Not taking a comprehensive estate planning approach can lead to problems if the disabled require long-term care.
- Estate tax: Estate planning needs to take into account estate tax liabilities. Failing to do so can be problematic. This includes income tax considerations for the owner and beneficiary of assets.
- Minor children and dependents: When estate planning, children should be considered as far as guardianship and financial support of minors.
When considering the options available to estate and end-of-life planning, it can be overwhelming. Many important decisions need to be made that may create or avoid problems down the road.
To build a solid estate plan that is designed to avoid probate problems and litigation, it can be helpful to have professional guidance that is experienced in estate planning and probate in Michigan.