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Common Estate Planning Mistakes Can Cause Issues in Court

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Estate planning can be a daunting task, but it can only get more complex if legal problems arise that need settlement by the probate court. Setting up your accounts to ensure that things run smoothly upon your death can be a complicated task, and estate planning errors can create expensive and frustrating delays for your loved ones while they try to satisfy your final wishes.

It’s interesting to see from time to time that getting a full, up-to-date estate plan is so critical. In addition to verifying our own actions, it will provide us with important knowledge to pass on to friends and relatives who, for whatever cause, have still yet to act.

Estate planning and end-of-life preparation are about taking care of the condition. Death and long-term treatment later in life can be difficult to believe right now, but we can’t put off preparation out of fear of the future just because it’s uncomfortable.

Below are several common estate planning mistakes that people make and recommendations for how to take action.

1. Not Having An Estate Plan 

The most important error in planning the estate is not making a plan for the estate. Sadly, no one may prevent death, but careful preparation about what can happen after your death is one of the most crucial matters you can do to ensure that your financial and personal arrangements are managed correctly when the inevitable occurs.

Every state has rules to distribute the property to anyone who dies without a land plan. State laws differ, but usually, they leave a proportion of the estate of the deceased to the members of the family. It is normal for the spouse and the children to each earn a share, which also means that the surviving spouse does not have enough resources to survive on.

2. Not Planning for The Expected Things

An estate will have a financial power of lawyer allowing someone to act on your behalf if you are unable to handle your financial interests and medical power of attorney giving another permission to act on your behalf and make medical decisions.

In addition, if you want your life not to be sustained by drastic measures if your health condition is to become hopeless, it is essential to know that desire in a “living will.” If you become disabled and do not exercise the basic powers of lawyer, your family and friends will have to file a petition to appoint a guardian for you.

In this case, you need to create a provision in your estate plan regarding who will administer your financial affairs or take care of you when you become incapacitated due to a catastrophic accident or severe illness. This provides you with reassurance, as the individual you choose to advocate for you is someone with whom you have confidence.

3. Not Planning for Disability

Unexpected or long-term illness may also have a larger effect on your professional and financial affairs. Judgments such as who will administer your money, raise your kids, or make medical care decisions on your behalf are incredibly significant. It could also be appropriate to nominate a lawyer and/or establish a living trust to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so for your own good.

4. Not Choosing a Revocable Trust

To reduce the effort, and cost of probate after you die, and to ensure that knowledge about your finances and heirs is not in the public record, most people opt to incorporate a Revocable Trust or living trust in the estate plan. In order to receive probate prevention benefits, a revocable trust must definitely be financed over the course of your lifetime.

It is essential to analyze your assets and to evaluate which assets need to be re-titled in the initials of the revocable trust. Then, during your lifespan, you will complete the measures to transfer these properties to the revocable trust. People who skip this move will cost their family and loved ones a lot.

5. Not Updating the Planning of Big Life Activities

Divorce- Provisions in a revocable trust to the benefit of your former partner shall be repealed under the statute of divorce. It is also a reasonable idea to study the estate will at this period and decide who should inherit upon the death and who will act as your Executor, Guardian of the trust for children or other heirs, as guardian to any minor children or as your representative under the jurisdiction of a lawyer.

Navigating a divorce can be complex, with numerous factors to take into account, like property division, child custody, and support, among others. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek counsel from a committed family lawyer for legal guidance to resolve these issues before establishing an estate plan. For further details, visit the website or consult trustworthy online resources. 

Remarriage- If you remarry but have kids from a previous marriage, your planning should take into account your dual goal of benefiting your spouse and family. Leaving assets to the remaining partner grants your partner power over the management of your properties, and there is no assurance your spouse will actually transfer those properties to your children.

Shifting to a new state- The state law in which you live shall decide if your powers of attorney, Will, and other records relating to estate planning conform to the conditions for legal execution.

6. Ignoring Income Taxes

Since recent amendments to federal inheritance tax laws, the focus of tax preparation for most people has changed from estate tax to income tax. The individual’s tax base on inherited properties is usually adjusted to the property value on the date of death of the deceased; unrealized gains or damages arising on the death of the deceased are effectively wiped out.

Consequently, the beneficiary may sell the property directly after inheriting the property without any tax repercussions. Efficient estate planning would try to optimize the value of an asset for you and your heirs.

Many people give assets to children before they expire without taking into account income tax, unintentionally disservice to their relatives. For example, if you donate a low-base stock to a child, the child would have to incur capital gains on the sale of that stock. When you kept the same stock when you died, your offspring will be entitled to sell it without paying taxes.

7. Not Naming a Guardian for Children

Only through a will can a guardian be appointed for the minor children. If the parents failed to do this, and both end up dying before the kids turn legal age, the court will have to name somebody to raise them without realizing who the mother and father would choose.

Although the court considers the best interest of your children in choosing the legal guardian, naming the guardian of your kids in your estate plan is still preferred to ensure their welfare and overall well-being. If you specifically choose who will take care of your little ones when you pass away, you can have peace of mind knowing they’re in safe hands.  


It’s imperative to approach estate planning with due diligence to safeguard your assets for your loved ones, i. Constructing an effective estate plan necessitates thoughtful considerations to guarantee a positive result, preventing inadvertent errors that could lead to legal complications. Hence, if estate planning is on your agenda, consider the aforementioned points to sidestep potential missteps and ensure your loved ones are adequately protected after your passing.