Proper estate planning allows you to make informed decisions about the handling of your assets. Having a plan in place gives you and your loved ones peace of mind knowing that you had the opportunity to maximize the value of your estate and make the designations you wanted.

Knowing the common estate planning mistakes will help you avoid these issues in your legal affairs.

NOT UPDATING AFTER MAJOR LIFE EVENTS

Make sure to revise your estate planning documents after each major life event. For example, if you move to a new state, documents executed in your previous home state may not meet the new state law requirements.

Additionally, if you divorce your former spouse you should review your beneficiary designations since the end of your marriage will not automatically invalidate any gifts made under a life insurance plan or an IRA.

Other major moments that affect estate planning include remarriage, the death or marriage of a named beneficiary or separation from your spouse.

NAMING MINOR CHILDREN AS DIRECT BENEFICIARIES

An appointed guardian holds property from an estate for to a minor as children less than 18 years old cannot receive assets directly from an estate. By designating in your will a custodian or trustee for any minor children you select as beneficiaries, you can save the time and expense of a court-appointed guardianship.

NOT UPDATING AFTER NEW ESTATE TAX LAWS

As you work on your estate planning documents, make sure to consult with professionals who are familiar with the current tax laws. The estate tax exemption amount increased significantly over the past decade so people who completed their planning years ago need to assess whether their plans are as tax efficient as possible.

James J. Ruggiero, Jr. Esq.

This article was provided by James J. Ruggiero Jr., Esq. AEP., Founder of Ruggiero Law Offices, LLC, one of Pennsylvania’s TOP Estate Planning and Elder Law Firms. Attorney Ruggiero and his firm are Members of the National ElderCare Matters Alliance and have a Featured Listing on ElderCareMatters.com– America’s National Directory of Elder Care / Senior Care Resources to help families plan for and deal with the issues of Aging.


If you have additional questions about your family’s Elder Care / Senior Care Matters, you can count on ElderCareMatters.com (America’s National Directory of Elder Care / Senior Care Resources) to help you find America’s Top Elder Care / Senior Care Professionals.  You can find Local Elder Care / Senior Care Experts by Searching our National Database by City and Service Category.  (This Search feature is located on the homepage of ElderCareMatters.com).

The Elder Care / Senior Care Experts who are found on ElderCareMatters.com can provide you with the help you need in a wide range of Elder Care / Senior Care Services, including Elder Law, Estate Planning, Home Care, Assisted Living, Care Management, Daily Money Management, Senior Living, Investment Advisory Services, Tax & Accounting Services, Wills & Trusts, Probate plus many other Elder Care Services.

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3 ESTATE PLANNING MISTAKES TO AVOID was last modified: October 6th, 2020 by James Ruggiero Jr., Esq.