On behalf of Attorney David L. Zerbe on Sunday, October 28, 2018.
Planning for the future can be an intimidating task because it means realizing that your health and lifestyle will change over time. This is a primary reason why so many people continually put off estate planning because they don’t believe it’s necessary in their current circumstances.
On the contrary, there is really no time too early to start planning for the future of your life, health and assets. Whether you’re already married with kids or you’re still single and just building your life, estate planning should be a priority as you look ahead to the future.
Too often a person becomes ill or passes away without a plan in place to dictate their care, dissolution of assets or other crucial medical and legal matters. Consider some common estate planning mistakes and how you can avoid them when creating your own plans.
Mistake 1 – Never creating a plan
Perhaps the most common and easiest mistake to make is never creating an estate plan. Many people put off estate planningbecause they don’t think their wealth and other assets require prudent planning. In reality, estate planning can start when your adult life does and grow over time as you do.
Every person can benefit from planning for their future and adapting those plans as needed. When you reach life’s major milestones such as getting married, having kids, purchasing a home or other changes, your initial plan can get a revision to reflect those changing circumstances. Having a plan in place that you can edit is often simpler than creating a plan further down the line.
Mistake 2 – Failing to discuss or share plans
Your plans are only as effective as they are executable. If none of your loved ones know your long-term goals and wishes, they may not carry out your plans in the manner you intended. Talk about your plans with loved ones to ensure they can help execute details of a will, trust or other planning elements.
Additionally, resist the age-old urge to hide your plans in a locked drawer or some other secluded, undisclosed place. If no one can find your will, how will they know what your plans entailed? Keep copies of your plans with the relevant sources such as an executor, financial adviser and estate planning attorney.
Mistake 3 – Going it alone
Effective estate planning in Indiana can take skill and expertise when done right. While it may seem appealing to consult a template on the internet or just write up a list of wishes, these are not productive routes for planning for your future. Consult the proper financial, legal, medical and other necessary sources as you begin to lay out your plans.