How to avoid common estate-planning mistakes

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for loved ones in Georgia and across the U.S. to pass away unexpectedly without having a written will in place. According to a 2016 study by Harris Poll for Rocket Lawyer, 64 percent of U.S. adults have no will. In addition, many people have wills that aren't properly prepared.

When writing a will, there are online sources that provide do-it-yourself tools. However, because this option is quite limited, a person could make serious mistakes and leave out important points regarding their estate plan. Others make the mistake of writing a will and never taking the time to review it. One should review an estate plan and make necessary updates every two years because the testator may have remarried or there may be additional children or others to include as beneficiaries.

Another common estate-planning failure is not selecting a trustee or appointing the wrong one. In some cases, the person appointed to this role may be unable to fulfill the role for one reason or another, or the person might not outlive the testator.

Just as people can make mistakes with appointing a trustee or executor, they can also make errors regarding the beneficiaries they choose. For example, some beneficiaries may be unable to handle money in a responsible fashion.

Estate planning is a great way to protect one's assets; however, if it is not done correctly and according to the law, it could lead to family disputes, unforeseen tax liabilities and other complexities. To help avoid such a scenario from occurring, people might consider speaking with a lawyer experienced in estate planning.

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