Estate planning is for everyone and anyone with a car, home or bank account which is why estate planners should be familiar with how estate planning works and mistakes to avoid when estate planning. Estate planning and the help of estate planning services allows estate planners to make informed decisions about their estate, maximize the value of their estate and ensure their beneficiaries are taken care of according to their wishes.

To ensure an estate plan achieves the wishes of the estate planner, it is important it is properly developed, regularly updated, as this blog has discussed in the past, and to avoid common estate planning mistakes. The biggest mistake estate planners can make is to neglect to have an estate plan. In addition, another estate planning mistake to avoid is failing to update a will or other estate planning documents as necessary.

Other common estate planning errors include failing to make gifts to reduce the estate planner’s estate tax; failing to put a child’s name on the deed to a home; failing to transfer life insurance policies to a life insurance trust; failing to take advantage of federal tax exemptions; not planning for disability; failing to choose the best person to handle the estate; and not meeting with legal, financial and tax professionals when preparing the estate plan.

Lastly, one of the biggest mistakes estate planners can make is putting estate planning off or putting off updating an estate plan and keeping it current. Estate planning provides a number of important benefits to estate planners and understanding the process can help them avoid common mistakes and be confident that they have an effective estate plan.