Most Oklahoma residents know how important estate planning is to protect a person's assets and honor their wishes. Estate planning is important for almost every resident in the state. It can be important to keep in mind common estate planning mistakes in case they apply to a person's situation.
One of the most common mistakes a family makes is not having an estate plan at all. Although many people don't want to think about their eventual death, not having a plan can be devastating for a family. Everyone needs an estate plan, regardless of age, to safeguard a person's assets, children and spouse. Another mistake is not updating a will on a regular basis. After a major life event, like a move, added children, divorce, etc. a will needs to be updated to reflect these changes. It can also be a mistake to assume that the family will always get along.
When a death occurs in the family, a stressful situation quickly ensues that can pit one family member against another. When there is a lack of guidance on what to do with major assets, it can lead to fighting. Parents should consider the relationship between the siblings and the state of their lives before creating an estate plan. Communicating the estate plan among family members is key in making sure everyone understands why the estate plan was created and what a person's wishes and desires are. Specifics on everything from burial instructions, organ donations, and social media accounts should also be communicated.
A legal professional who specializes in estate planning can help a family work through their unique situation. They understand that every family is different and can offer suggestions as to what may work best in their family. Preserving the family's assets and passing along values to the next generation is something that an estate planning attorney specializes in and makes sure their client's estate plan reflects.
A sound estate plan can offer a family peace of mind that when they are no longer here, their values and assets will live on. Avoiding common mistakes can make sure that an estate is passed to the next generation as smoothly as possible.
Source: seniorhome.com, "7 common mistakes to avoid when planning your estate", Scott Morris, Sept. 6, 2017