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4 common mistakes that make estate plans less effective

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2018 | Blog |

You may have many reasons for choosing to create an estate plan. Among those reasons may be your family and your desire to make the process of closing your estate as simple as possible for them. Of course, if you do not correctly create a plan or make it comprehensive, your family could still face struggles.

Estate planning can have its complications. Therefore, you may want to remain aware of certain issues that could potentially cause your plan to be less effective than desired. If you avoid these issues, you may provide a plan that helps probate proceedings go more smoothly.

Common planning mistakes

Numerous errors and oversights could plague any estate plan. However, some issues prove more prevalent than others do. Some common estate planning mistakes include the following:

  • Not having a plan — This issue remains a common and obvious mistake. Without any plan, surviving family members will have to contend with Illinois intestate laws to distribute your assets and will likely have questions about whether these actions would align with your wishes. Additionally, your family may see a great deal of your estate go toward legal fees and court costs.
  • Not updating your plan — While creating a plan at all remains better than not having one, if your plan contains outdated information, it could still cause problems for your surviving loved ones. In particular, if you do not update your beneficiaries, you may end up leaving out new family members or risk naming individuals who have died since your plan’s creation.
  • Not providing records — Leaving instructions for the distribution of assets and various financial affairs of your estate may help your executor or other individuals. However, having records of asset titles and deeds, bank account information, and other related documents in an organized location could prevent family members from scrambling to find all of your property.
  • Not discussing your wishes with family — Though talking about your eventual demise may seem difficult, it may be a mistake to avoid the topic altogether. If you secretly create an estate plan and do not inform your family of your wishes, conflict may arise after your death if individuals feel hurt over your decisions or believe that they are not what you truly intended.

If you feel that any of these factors apply to your situation, you may wish to consider your options for addressing them and ensuring that your estate plan will act as a beneficial guide for your surviving loved ones.


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