As readers of our blog know, estate planning often requires a lot of preparation and a lot of maintenance in order for everything to go relatively smoothly upon death. Even the best of planned estates can hold their challenges. But as we’ve said in past posts, the better prepared your assets are upon your passing, the less likely your heirs will have these difficulties.
But to ensure smooth sailing, it’s important for people here in Texas, and the rest of the country for that matter, to remember that it’s easier to fix mistakes while you’re still able to. And as many lawyers will tell you, these mistakes in estate planning can happen to anyone–even the professionals.
Most people never think about drafting a will or establishing a trust until they reach retirement age, the unfortunate truth about life is that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. That’s why we always stress the importance of having a plan in place. But it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Although there are a lot of terms and laws to remember, knowing these before you speak to an attorney can actually help you in the long run. Afterall, even professionals can make mistakes and it would be worth your while to be able to catch that mistake now rather than leave it to your bereaved after your passing.
While not having a plan is likely the worst-case scenario, having your loved ones find out a mistake was made during your planning process can often times be just as detrimental. This can lead to arguments, family rifts, and even litigation. Avoiding these unnecessary headaches now by double checking things before you pass can really save time and money for your family and loved ones down the road.
Source: Fox News, “Duck Estate Planning Fiascos Before It’s Too Late,” Sheyna Steiner, May 13, 2013