Estate Planning for Dummies: 7 Common Missteps and How to Avoid Them

Estate Planning for Dummies: 7 Common Missteps and How to Avoid Them
31 Dec 2018

Confused about estate planning? We’ve got you covered. Discover our top tips for estate planning for dummies and gain peace of mind for your future.

Did you know that only around 40% of Americans have a will ready in case of death? Sadly, many people put it off until they no longer have a chance to prepare for death and what happens to their families afterward.

This is why estate planning, or preparing all your legal documents for when that day comes, is so important to do now. Estate planning can be a daunting task, but well worth the hassle now.

Before you start to worry, here is a short estate planning for dummies guide and our top seven things to avoid.

1. Procrastinating and Not Having a Plan

Unfortunately, many people like to put things off tomorrow and do the same for their estate planning. This is the biggest mistake anyone can make. If something goes wrong and you don’t have a plan, it could be a big problem.

So stop putting it off tomorrow, and at least make a basic estate plan now. You and your family will feel much better with it in place.

2. Choosing the Wrong Person to Help You

Sometimes people just rely on their family members and put them in charge of planning everything. It makes sense if they will eventually inherit the place, right?

Most of the time this is not the case. Most people are not experts about estate planning and unfortunately, there are some dishonest people in the world that will only look out for themselves.

It is usually best to hire a professional estate planner that can look at everything objectively and help you figure out what is best for you and your family.

3. Not Planning for Marriage

Let’s say a person is unmarried and make their estate plan. But later they get married, and after their death, there are complications about who gets what. It is vital that you plan for possible marriages or even remarriages so that no loved ones (even ones you haven’t met yet) are left penniless after your death.

4. Not Sharing All Information

If you do have an estate planner, it is important to share everything with him. Some people like to keep secrets and leave out certain details. If you want an estate plan that will not have any problems, you need to give all your financial details to your planner so he can make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

5. Making Documents Yourself

With a home computer and the help of the internet, some people believe they can do anything these days, including writing important documents. This is a big mistake!

While technology can help you make documents, they will not be the best. If there are papers that directly involve your death and family, it is best to let a professional draft all the documentation.

6. Not Planning for Disabilities

Similar to the point about marriage, you never know what could happen later down the road. For example, if someone goes into a coma, what happens next? It is important to talk to your lawyer to set up a plan just in case there are any long-term disabilities that could affect your family.

7. Dying Without a Will

It is important to have a will in place, but sadly some people never make a will. Make sure you don’t make this mistake. Have something in place that will let all your relatives know who gets what. Otherwise, if you die intestate then the state will decide what happens to your belongings.

Estate Planning for Dummies

There are many mistakes it is possible to make, but don’t worry. Again, this is not something you should do all on your own.

Hire a professional and they can walk you through every single step, essentially giving you an estate planning for dummies guide. Just use our contact page and we can help you get started on your plan now.


Daryl Seaton