5 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Florida Estate Planning
It probably comes as no surprise that the biggest mistake you can make with estate planning is to not have an estate plan at all. However, other mistakes might not be so obvious, especially if you don’t have a background in estate planning. This is why it’s so important to meet with a skilled West Palm Beach estate planning attorney who can help.
Here’s a look at five of the biggest mistakes you can make with your estate plan.
Going the DIY Route
Have you considered purchasing online estate planning software or DIY programs? If so, you are doing a huge disservice to yourself. These programs cannot address any complex issues for one. If you have questions, who will you ask? Estate plans are not like cookie cutters. No two plans are the same as no two people are the same. What may work for your financial situation would not be a good idea for someone else.
Not Thinking About Long-Term Care or Disability
Do you know that nursing home care can run over $100,000 a year in some instances? Bringing a home healthcare aide in is still around $50,000 or more. Given that many people will require long-term care when they reach a certain age, it’s important to make this a part of your estate plan.
You might think it’s something you can plan for later on if you aren’t anywhere near 65 years old. But what happens if you are seriously injured in a car accident? Or what if you contract a strange illness that leaves you disabled for months? Long-term care is not just for retired people who need assistance later in life.
Forgetting About Taxes
Have you thought about the tax implications of the decisions you are making with your estate plan? If not, you are making another potentially huge mistake. Certain assets can end up creating unintended income for your heirs. Taking steps such as a Roth conversion while still alive could help your beneficiaries avoid taxes when a withdrawal is made. Your Florida estate planning attorney will go over all of this with you.
Not Updating Your Estate Plan
You may think, “Well I have an estate plan so there is nothing else to think about again.” However, not updating your estate plan can have unintended consequences down the line. This means you might have named a personal representative 20 years ago who no longer makes sense to be the representative. You might have started your plan before you had kids, or before you got a divorce.
Incorrect Ownership of Assets
Sometimes it takes a person dying for the spouse to realize that many assets were not titled correctly. If you own property with your spouse, it should be titled jointly. This can help create protections from creditors and also allow smoother transfers in some cases. Incorrect ownership can also refer to someone who owns a business and puts a business asset in their personal name.
Contact a West Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorney
These are just five common mistakes people make with their estate plans. Let an experienced attorney help so that when the time comes to use the provisions contained in your estate plan, they will do what you intended. Contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.