Estate Planning Errors: Common Mistakes to Avoid

DuPage County estate planning attorneys, estate planning errors, estate planning, estate planning mistakes, estate planning problems, estate executors, power of attorney, beneficiariesLife is not always within our realm of control, and this is a fact that is often hard to swallow. However, it is an incredibly important concept to understand when partaking in daily responsibilities and activities, as everything carries a risk. And for this reason, it is critical to address the "what if's" before they arise by hiring a professional to draft a cohesive estate plan.

Several common mistakes can be made during estate planning, and these can be harmful both before and after death. In fact, these mistakes can have broad implications on family and loved ones. Consider the following list of frequently seen estate planning errors:

  1. Problems with beneficiaries: Too many people are under the assumption that their wills and trusts designate where all assets and finances are to be allocated upon death. The truth, however, is that certain retirement funds, IRA's, as well as life insurance do not apply to this, and follow the beneficiary you listed yourself. Be sure these beneficiary forms are consistent and updated. It is also important to list alternative beneficiaries should any problems arise.

  2. Choosing estate executors: Designating the person to ensure your wishes are carried out can often be the most difficult part of the estate planning process. Most people tend to default to using spouses, children, or siblings -which is not always the best choice. An impartial party or parties will cause the least amount of conflict and keep your intentions in mind first.

  3. Power of attorney issues: Much like an estate executor, the person you appoint to be your power of attorney to legally speak for you should be trustworthy and should completely understand your wishes. He or she must have no conflict of interest at all. Power of attorney can apply to financial and medical decisions. You should discuss these issues with your professional Illinois lawyer.

Having a written legal document in place to clearly outline your wishes in the event of death or disability does not only extend to the elderly. Life happens, and hiring a time-tested estate planning attorney can reduce, and even resolve, any problems for surviving loved ones. The Illinois law office of Stock, Carlson, Flynn & McGrath, LLC serves the greater Chicago area, and are available to assist every step of the way. Contact our experienced DuPage County estate planning attorneys today.