Over the years the attorneys and staff at the law offices of Cheryl David have helped numerous individuals, couples, and families in the Greensboro, North Carolina area develop estate plans that have fit their individual needs, and which have avoided the most common estate planning mistakes around. Yet with all our experience and expertise, we are mostly powerless to help people unless they choose to talk to us about crafting a plan in the first place. To help persuade you that estate planning is something you need to consider, we have come up with this list of three costly estate planning mistakes to which many people fall victim.
Estate Planning Mistake 1: Believing you don’t need a plan because you are not rich enough, not old enough, or not sick enough.
The single costliest error that most people make with estate planning is believing that they don’t need a plan at all. Most people who seek out an estate planning attorney tend to be older and more well-off, but that doesn’t mean that these are the only kind of people you need to craft an estate plan. As soon as you reach the age of 18, you need to have an estate plan in place even if you don’t own anything, are not married, don’t have a family, or don’t have anything else you think you need to protect. The fact is that there are specific choices that only you get to make when you craft an estate plan. Should you fail to make a plan, you leave those choices up to others to make on your behalf, and you may not always want what they decide for you.
Estate Planning Mistake 2. Making a plan without advice.
Estate planning can be both complicated and simple at the same time. Take for example, your basic last will and testament. Making a will that meets the basic legal requirements of North Carolina is not difficult, but a document you craft that only meets these requirements will not be an effective one.
What we mean by this is that a last will and testament has to include a lot more than the basics required under the law for it to adequately represent you and your interests. If you choose to make a will on your own, or do so without the advice and guidance of an expert, you can almost guarantee yourself some significant omissions or complications that will make your will much less effective than it would be if you crafted it with the advice and guidance of an experienced attorney.
Estate Planning Mistake 3: Waiting too long.
Another costly estate planning mistake that far too many people make is waiting to craft a plan until it is too late. Many estate planning issues are time sensitive, and not creating a plan in time can cost you money. Further, not having a plan in place in time could mean that you are unable to make one should you become incapacitated, and not having a plan is almost always more costly than having a good one in place when it is needed.