Estate plans can offer help to surviving family members that they cannot get elsewhere. You can use your plan to leave your specific wishes regarding a number of estate and probate-related issues. Of course, you may feel hesitant to complete a plan because you do not know if you truly need one. However, you likely do.
Not having a plan or thinking that you do not need one is a major estate-planning mistake. Even if you have a relatively small estate and not much wealth, creating a plan can still benefit you and your loved ones in the future. Still, it is important that you do not make certain common mistakes when planning.
Have you considered expenses?
Some people know that estate planning can help to avoid federal estate taxes. However, it is not uncommon for people to think that they do not need an estate plan to avoid such taxes because the value of their estate falls below the exemption limit. Even so, having an estate plan is necessary because state estate taxes and probate fees could still apply. If you do not plan to cover these costs, your estate could diminish.
Do you already have a will?
On the other hand, maybe you decided long ago that having a will was a good idea. You created it, but you have not felt the need to go back and look at it. If this is the case, you are likely in the midst of a serious error. Failing to update your plan can open doors to additional issues when the time comes to probate your estate. For example, outdated information may make it difficult to properly distribute assets.
Another issue with not updating your will is that it can become invalid if you created it in one state and then moved to another. Not all estate planning laws in New Jersey are the same as other states, and if your plan does not conform to the state laws, the court may not recognize it as valid when the time comes to put it into action.
What can you do?
You may not have thought about these issues before, and as a result, you may wonder what other errors you could make with your plan. Unfortunately, numerous mistakes can take place during the estate-planning process. Luckily, you and other interested parties can work with experienced attorneys who understand estate-planning laws, know what errors to watch out for and can generally help you create the best plan for your needs.