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Estate planning mistakes to avoid

Estate planning can reduce the stress for your loved ones and give everyone a clearer plan for what will happen to your estate after you pass away. While there are many benefits of estate planning, if there is an error or mistake in the estate plan, it may not be helpful at all.

There are many mistakes that can be made in an estate plan, and many of these errors go unnoticed until it's too late. That is why it is important for individuals creating an estate plan to understand common estate planning mistakes and take steps to prevent errors from happening.

Experts say that estate plans should address multiple situations, such as what will happen if the mother or father dies first or if both parents die at the same time. Estate plans should also address any issues that may happen if the children are still minors at the time of their parents' death versus the children being adults.

Many estate planning errors are made because family members fail to communicate with each other about their estate plans. If beneficiaries or trustees do not know about the specifics of the estate plan, they may not be able to make the right choices about handling your estate.

Another common issue in estate planning is family members contesting or arguing over an estate plan. That is why experts recommend that individuals discuss their estate plan with their children and other family members, explaining to them why everyone will receive when they die. This will help everyone know what will happen as well as provide a good opportunity for family members to discuss any issues when you are still alive instead of feeling hurt or angry after your death.

Estate planning can seem complex and it may be more difficult to communicate your plans, but it will be worth it in the end. Not only will proper planning prevent mistakes and disputes, it will save everyone time and money in the future.

Source: Fox Business, "Duck Estate-Planning Fiascos Before it's Too Late," Sheyna Steiner, May 13, 2013

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