We see a lot of common mistakes that people make in their estate planning — whether it is thinking it is a one and done type of thing so they might set up some planning and then go years and years without revisiting it. And then when the plan is actually needed, it is so outdated and stale that it really doesn’t work the way it was intended to.

Another common issue we see is that people will go through the trouble to set up an estate plan but then they don’t look at what they actually own and make sure their accounts and their beneficiary designations are really set up to properly interact with that plan. So at the end of the day, the plan actually doesn’t carry out the way they intended it to.  That’s a really critical step that a lot of people miss.

The third thing I would say is that a lot of people really don’t understand a lot of protections they can incorporate into their planning. So it’s not just about what happens when you die, but there are some great protections that you can put in there for yourself or your family — things to make sure that you are properly cared for if you should have a health event and also things like leaving things to your spouse or children protected from things like future lawsuits, divorce, remarriage type of issues that come about.

You can learn more about estate planning by downloading our free book, Estate Planning Pitfalls, The 12 Most Common Threats to Your Family and Your Estate.

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning