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Mistakes to avoid when creating an estate plan

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Estate Planning, Probate & Guardianships

Creating an estate plan is crucial for ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes during this process that can lead to complications or unintended negative consequences for their loved ones.

To help you navigate the estate planning process more effectively, consider these common mistakes to avoid.


One of the biggest mistakes people make is delaying the creation of an estate plan. Unfortunately, death can be unpredictable, and failing to have a plan in place can leave your assets vulnerable to disputes or mismanagement. Start the estate planning process as soon as possible to better ensure that your wishes are documented and legally binding.

Not updating your estate plan

Life circumstances can change, such as marriage, divorce, birth of children or acquiring new assets. Failing to update your estate plan to reflect these changes can result in unintended beneficiaries or assets being distributed in a way that doesn’t align with your current wishes. Review and update your estate plan regularly to ensure it remains accurate and effective.

Not considering taxes

Estate taxes can significantly impact the value of your assets passed on to your beneficiaries. Failing to consider tax implications when creating your estate plan could result in unnecessary tax burdens for your loved ones. Consult with a tax professional or estate planning attorney to develop strategies for minimizing estate taxes.

Ignoring non-probate assets

Not all assets are subject to probate, such as retirement accounts, life insurance policies and assets held in trusts. Failing to properly coordinate these non-probate assets with your estate plan can lead to inconsistencies or unintended distributions. Ensure that all your assets are properly accounted for and coordinated within your estate plan.

By avoiding these common mistakes and seeking professional guidance, you can create an estate plan that effectively protects your assets and better ensures that your wishes are carried out as intended.