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What are some common estate planning mistakes people make?

Whether you live here in Pennsylvania or another state, having a solid estate plan is the key to making sure that everything goes according to your wishes prior to and after your death. But did you know that a vast majority of Americans neglect their estate plans or fail to get around to them before it's too late? Some data even seems to suggest that less than half of the people across the country even have a basic will in place.

This can prove incredibly problematic if you become suddenly incapacitated by injury or illness, or if you were to suddenly pass away without warning. Without the guidance of an estate plan, your loved ones are typically left wondering what your wishes would have been, oftentimes leading to arguments and disagreements between family members that may require the help of a skilled lawyer.

So what are some common estate planning mistakes people make? Here's a list of just some that people often make:

  • Waiting too long to make out a will
  • Not creating a will at all
  • Failing to appoint a power of attorney
  • Not having a health care directive
  • Failing to consider all of your assets, including digital ones
  • Forgetting to name specific beneficiaries

Making any one of these mistakes could lead to: family members inadvertently violating your medical wishes if you fall ill, property and/or money going to unintended or wrong beneficiaries, disputes over estate tax amounts, and issues regarding unresolved debts.

These are not concerns that most people want to have to worry about or leave behind after they pass away, which is why establishing an estate plan now is a good idea for the future.

Source: Forbes, "7 Common Estate-Planning Blunders Not To Make," Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sept. 15, 2014

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