Most Ohio residents do not enjoy talking or thinking about death. However, it is inevitable and requires planning. By planning for the end of life, people can make the situation easier for their loved ones. Unfortunately, many people make several common mistakes with estate planning. Understanding these errors might help people to avoid them.
Not writing a will
Many people put off writing last wills and testaments or think that they are unnecessary. When people die without wills, their estates will be handled by the probate court under the state’s intestacy laws. An intestate decedent’s assets will be distributed according to the statutory provisions rather than according to what he or she may have wanted. The process can also be lengthy and expensive.
Failing to update wills and beneficiary designations
Some people who have written wills and have retirement accounts or life insurance policies fail to update their wills and their beneficiary designations when major life changes occur. This can cause people to be accidentally disinherited or allow people to receive the proceeds of retirement accounts or life insurance policies that the decedents no longer want to happen. People should regularly review their beneficiary designations and wills, and they should update them when major life changes occur.
Not taking simple steps to avoid probate
Probate can last for several years. There are some simple ways for people to avoid it through estate planning. When people fail to take these steps, their loved ones may be left to contend with the probate process and its substantial costs.
Adults of all ages might benefit from talking to experienced estate planning attorneys. Having an estate plan in place might help the families of people who die to deal with the various situations that might occur afterward. Legal counsel might discuss their clients’ goals to determine the types of documents that might best help to accomplish them. They might draft the documents that will offer the greatest benefit to their clients and the intended beneficiaries. They might also review the documents after they have been written when major life changes have occurred to prevent unintended consequences.