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How to Avoid Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Posted November 12, 2016

While difficult and even unsettling to think about, planning for the end of life is necessary to ensure that your wishes are carried out, your property is divided as you see fit, and that your family is left with as little burden, uncertainty and stress as possible.

Failing to Update Your Will

Estate planning requires your attention from time to time as  relationships change in your family, with your friends, and in your business. Your wishes for what you leave behind, and to whom, changes as well. One of the most common mistakes a person can make is to neglect your will for too long, essentially neglecting to give intended instructions to the people you most care about once you are no longer here.

Poor Life Insurance Management

Life insurance is a must-have for the breadwinner of any family that depends on that income. However, problems can arise when the beneficiary named is a third party person (which opens the door for gift tax), or there is not a backup beneficiary named in the event that the first cannot or is not around to receive the benefits. Additionally, the insurance policy may not be large enough for the family of the deceased.  We can coordinate planning with your wealth management advisors or insurance brokers, and if you do not know who to contact, we will help you find someone.

Not Planning for a Disabling Event

One of the most important aspects of a well-planned estate is to plan for the unexpected, such as a serious and debilitating health condition, either through a traumatic accident or from an illness. Appointing an attorney-in-fact through a power of attorney for such an event will help take away some of the guess work, and they will be more able to make decisions regarding your health care and finances in good conscience and without debate.  If you were to ever lose the ability to manage your own affairs, appointing someone now to be your decision maker through a power of attorney may avoid later court proceedings.

We are here to help

Estate planning will help resolve family conflict before it even arises. Not everyone takes the necessary steps in estate planning, however. Without the guidance of an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney, mistakes are bound to be made. Contact the attorneys at Foss, San Filippo & Milne, LLC at (732) 741-2525 today to get started on your estate plan today.