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4 Mistakes to Avoid when Planning your Estate

 Posted on August 20, 2013 in Estate Planning

You work your entire life to build up worth and prepare for planning your estate.  There are four very important mistakes you should avoid making when preparing your will for your loved ones.

  1. Not turning to an expert for help.  It's very common for people to create their own documents for estate planning by utilizing templates they have found online.  However, even if you choose to do things on your own, it's always best to double-check with an expert to make sure there are not any silly mistakes.
  2. Forgetting to connect your business to your estate plan.  Some parents who double as business owners don't necessarily want to talk with their children about what will happen with their business in the future and ultimately just leave it to the kids in their wills. This can often lead to issues with children who don't work for the business but still want to receive income from it, or those who have been working for the business and will continue to try to run it.
  3. Leaving lump sums behind.  While leaving money behind to your children is not always the wisest decision, if you have no other choice but to do so you should at least leave it in a trust instead of cash.  This way, you can ensure that the money will go to good use and will actually make a difference in your children's lives.
  4. Choosing not to update your estate plan over the years.  A huge mistake that some people make when planning their estate plan is forgetting to update them every time the law, or even your family, changes.  For example, if you find out you will soon be a grandparent (for the first, second, third, time) you should revisit your estate plan and include the unborn child so that issues do not arise after it's too late.

Estate planning is a tricky and demanding process.  You need to make sure everything is in order and pay attention to it over the years to be sure that it is still acceptable when the time comes for it to go into action. If you are beginning to plan your estate, be sure to contact an Illinois estate planning attorney to assist you and make sure the job is done correctly.

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