Common and Costly Estate Planning Errors

It is not uncommon for even the very wealthy or public figures to miss the boat when it comes to proper estate planning. While you might think that you are too young, too poor, or too healthy to have to think about estate planning, it is simply not the case. Far too many individuals pass away unexpectedly, and even if they own only modest assets, real difficulties, financial and otherwise, can result if there are no appropriate estate plans in place.

This situation also can result in substantial disagreements between your survivors, which will not be a pleasant experience for your family. As a Consumer Reports article points out, it is very worthwhile to take the time to plan things out in formal legal documents, even if the need to use those documents never arises.

Don’t Assume That You Don’t Need an Estate Plan

Unexpected accidents happen at any age, and failing to have an estate plan in place, even if you aren’t very wealthy, can cause an expensive mess for the family whom you leave behind. If you don’t have a will at the time of your death, your assets will be distributed to your relatives under New York intestacy laws, which can result in a distribution that you didn’t anticipate and didn’t want to occur.

Likewise, if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself, a lack of estate planning can make the situation far more complicated. Rather than having a power of attorney already in place to handle your affairs if necessary, your family members will have to bear the cost of going to court to obtain legal guardianship over you and your finances. Similarly, if you don’t have healthcare provisions in place, you may end up receiving medical treatment or care that you didn’t want to have. However, because you did not take the time to plan things out, the law will make decisions for you.

Don’t Rely Exclusively on a Will to Distribute All of Your Assets

Suppose that you execute a simple will that leaves all of your assets to your current spouse. However, you have a 401(k) account whose beneficiary is your mother, simply because you never updated the paperwork when you got married 10 years ago. If you unexpectedly pass away, your will does not determine who gets your 401(k) account. Instead of your spouse, to whom you probably intended to get the money in your retirement account, your mother will be entitled to the proceeds of the account. Again, failing to take the time to complete a comprehensive estate plan can result in unintended transfers of assets and leave your loved ones with a financial shortfall.

Contact Rudolf J. Karvay for New York Estate Planning Help

There is no better time than the present to engage in the estate planning that can be so crucial to the future of your family. Avoid costly and unintentional mistakes by taking the time to get the legal advice that is necessary to creating an estate plan that meets not only your needs and wishes, but fulfills the needs of your family. Call our office today and set up a consultation with the estate planning attorney who has the knowledge and experience to achieve your goals.

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