Making good choices in estate planning is crucial. Below is a list of some of the most common mistakes our office witnesses in estate planning.
1. Procrastinating. No plan is perfect, but your best effort is better than no effort at all. Maryland Intestacy and Pennsylvania Intestacy rules exist in case you fail to plan, but they often fail to meet your intentions as to who should be in charge of handling your estate or where your assets go. Meeting with a skilled estate planning attorney provides you with the right information to make informed decisions about your wishes.
2. Going It Alone. Estate Planning is difficult. You need to make important decisions and include those decisions in several legal documents. While you may believe you can do this on your own by pulling forms off the internet, having an estate planning attorney provide advice and help you avoid pitfalls makes it much more likely your wishes will be followed and your loved ones provided for.
3. Not Being Realistic. Perhaps you do not have as much in assets as you had hoped or a family member has some health or other issues. These are important facts that need to be discussed to help us determine the best course of action for your estate plan. Sometimes a child needs to have money held in trust for them because they have health issues or problems handling money. It may no longer be prudent to make as large a donation if investments did not work out. Honest assessment requires honest disclosure.
4. Having No Backup Plan. Sometimes expectations are wrong. When you don’t have contingency plans, an entire estate plan can fall apart. If you don’t have responsible family members to name as your Personal Representative, you can always name friends or professionals to be in charge. You should consider what happens if your spouse or children do not survive you as expected. In that situation you need to discuss how your estate should be distributed. A skilled estate planning attorney can assist with making sure you properly consider these contingencies.
5. Forgetting Your Plan. An estate plan only works if you follow though and revisit it every 3-5 years. Things change as time passes and without reviewing your estate planning documents you could inadvertently end up with unintended results.
Hiring Attorney Damian Halstad or Dennis Twigg to discuss your estate plan is an investment in guaranteeing your interests are protected. They provide expert advice to make sure you know all of your legal options to avoid problems down the road. They both have helped clients throughout the area including Westminster, Eldersburg, Taneytown, Hampstead, Manchester, Sykesville and Mt. Airy. Dennis Twigg is also licensed in Pennsylvania and has many clients in York County and Adams County.
If you need help with Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives, or estate planning matters, get in touch today by calling (410) 848-4444. To see what others have said about us, please read our reviews online.