On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Friday July 14th, 2023.
Estate planning is an essential step to protecting and disbursing assets after one’s passing, yet many make critical errors which can compromise their intentions. To shed more light on this important topic, we turn to Wickersham & Bowers – Daytona Beach lawyers in estate planning who offer valuable insight on top estate planning mistakes to avoid
Failing to Create a Comprehensive Estate Plan
One of the most frequent errors people make is failing to create an in-depth estate plan. While many may believe a simple will is sufficient, this approach often leaves many aspects uncovered. According to Wickersham and Bowers’ guide for effective estate plans, a plan should also include durable power of attorney documents (DPA/HCP), healthcare proxy forms, trust documents (if desired) and possibly more – to cover financial matters, healthcare decisions and the distribution of assets upon incapacity or death.
Neglecting to Update the Estate Plan
Another costly error involves failing to regularly review your estate plan. Life can bring many changes such as marriage, divorce, births, deaths, and financial fluctuations that could significantly alter your estate plan. Wickersham and Bowers emphasize the importance of reviewing and updating it when life events such as marriage, divorce or births occur as they could significantly impact it; failing to do this could have serious repercussions; outdated information may lead to improper distribution or could exclude potential beneficiaries altogether.
Overlooking the Importance of Beneficiary Designations
Life insurance policies, retirement accounts and even bank accounts often require individuals to designate beneficiaries; unfortunately, many fail to update these designations when circumstances change, leading to unexpected distributions of assets. It’s important of regularly review and update beneficiary designations so they align with your wishes and overall estate plan.
Failing to Consider Tax Implications
Wickersham and Bowers advise seeking professional guidance for understanding potential tax implications as well as ways to lower them; through tools like trusts or gifting strategies you may be able to decrease the tax burden for your estate and keep more assets for beneficiaries – an approach to tax planning can make a real difference in its long-term financial wellbeing.