3 Most Common Estate-Planning Mistakes

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that our lives can change in an instant. Having an estate plan in place is essential—not just something to put off for a rainy day. Unfortunately, not all estate plans are created equal. Having a solid plan that’s free of mistakes can make a world of difference for you and your loved ones.

As Estate-Planning Specialists for over 20 years, we’ve seen our fair share of costly pitfalls when it comes to estate planning. Here are the three most common mistakes we see:

Putting It Off

A common misconception people have is thinking they’re “too young” to start planning, with the belief that creating an estate plan is only something you do when you’re elderly. It’s the most common mistake we see, but it’s nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. The reality is that things can happen before you get the plan completed, so it’s best to start the process early.

Many people think the process is too complex. Before starting, they want to figure out who their guardian will be and how they will handle certain things in the event something should happen. But that’s exactly what the process is for!

You don’t need to have everything figured out before you make your plan. But it’s important to get an estate plan in place while you still have the mental capacity to make these decisions and can legally sign them. The sooner you start planning, the more peace of mind your family will receive in the future.

Oversimplifying & Overcomplicating

We frequently talk with people who decided to get their estate planning done quickly and ended up rushing the entire process. While it is recommended you get an early start on the process, oversimplifying can lead to mistakes in the documents themselves, and the plans might not address all the issues.

And on the opposite side of the spectrum: overcomplicating. When it comes to estate planning, you want to work with someone who does it regularly. The problem comes when that person has a high hourly rate. They can make the entire process longer and more complicated (and more expensive!) than it needs to be, leaving you confused and frustrated.

The alternative to oversimplifying or overcomplicating? Working with a team that wants to help you leave the legacy you desire while guiding you through all necessary documents. Estate planning shouldn’t be complex, and you shouldn’t have to go through the process alone.

Treating It Like a One-Time Transaction

Some people treat the estate planning process this way. However, it’s not a one-and-done process.

Say you made your estate plan 15 years ago, but you haven’t looked at it since. While it’s great you made a plan, there are a lot of factors that may have changed since then. Has anyone in that plan passed away? Gotten married or divorced? Started a family?

Our lives are constantly changing. Depending on what happens, your plan should change, too.

How Can Legacy Law Help?

Estate planning done well can impact a family for generations to come. Legacy Law will help you and your family design a solid estate plan, complete with well-defined goals and all “must-have” documents. We also offer estate plan packages instead of solely billing at an hourly rate, giving you the power to choose the plan you’re financially comfortable with and what makes the most sense for your needs.

Ready to start planning? Our experienced team of estate-planning professionals is ready to help. Schedule your complimentary initial consultation today!