Common estate planning mistakes to avoid

Estate planning can be a burdensome task that you might rather avoid, but it is an essential part of preparing for the end of your life. Your will or trust ensures that your loved ones have everything they need after you pass.

As you prepare your estate documents, avoid these mistakes that could affect whether your plans truly represent your intentions.

Failing to communicate with your beneficiaries

Communication is an important part of estate planning. When possible, you should try to understand what your loved ones will want and set expectations. Doing so will lead to a smoother process and fewer surprises.

Forgetting about healthcare proxies and power of attorney

Your estate plans can do more than just divide up your assets after your death. You should also use these documents to determine who will make decisions if you become unable to do so. Many people choose to appoint a power of attorney to handle financial arrangements and a healthcare proxy to manage health decisions.

Assuming you do not need a plan

According to AARP, about 60% of adults in the United States do not have a will. If you are one of these people, you may assume you are too young or that your finances are not complicated enough to warrant such planning. This decision will mean that your state’s law will determine the division of your assets, which may lead to headaches for your loved ones.

To avoid this, you should carefully prepare and regularly review your estate documents. Periodic updates will ensure that your plans continue to represent your intentions.

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