While the idea of creating an estate plan may seem overwhelming, it does not have to be. When you work with an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning attorney, you can have skilled legal professionals walking you through each step of this complex process and ensuring you avoid some of the most common estate planning mistakes that people make.
Mistake One: Not Updating Your Estate Plan Every Few Years
One of the most significant mistakes people make when it comes to their estate plan is they fail to regularly review and update it. As time passes, things will change, situations will change, and families will change. As a result, it is common for needs and desires to also change.
That is why it is essential for you to update estate planning documents at least every five years or when you experience one of the following life events:
- A divorce
- A marriage
- A birth or a death in the family
- Significant changes in assets
Mistake Two: Not Creating a Last Will and Testament and a Trust
Many people tend to assume that if they do not have significant wealth, they do not actually need a Last Will and Testament or a trust. However, the truth is that everyone has some type of estate, and they likely will want to be able to control who this estate and their assets will go to after they pass away.
However, if you fail to plan ahead and create a will or trust, it can leave assets unprotected, which means the state’s succession laws will determine who gets the property.
Mistake Three: Not Planning for Taxes and Leaving Your Family To Figure It Out
Another common mistake individuals make when it comes to their estate planning is overlooking certain types of taxes or other fees that can be charged to their estate after they pass away. Unfortunately, this can mean that loved ones will be left with the stressful task of figuring out how to take care of these bills.
Thankfully, when you work with an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning lawyer, these legal professionals can make sure to plan ahead and structure your estate to minimize the taxes that are due and ensure that funds are available to pay for these expenses.
Mistake Four: Relying on Do-It-Yourself Templates
With today’s technology, finding estate planning templates is easy. Unfortunately, these fill-in-the-blank documents may not be the best option for you and can often fail to account for your specific needs. Remember, only properly drafted estate plans allow you to be able to protect your family, your property, and yourself.
Contact Ardent Guardian Today To Go Over Your Estate Planning Options
If you are thinking about creating an estate plan or want to learn more about the options you have, reach out to an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning attorney today. At Ardent Guardian, our legal team can answer all your questions, review your estate planning options, and ensure you have legal support throughout the process.