Any number of celebrity estate planning stories provide some serious caution about what can happen to your family if you don’t plan for your estate. But those mistakes are not just important because of the sums of money involved. This problem is found in the experiences of many families in the U.S. who don’t follow through with estate planning.
Plenty of estate planning attorneys have heard the woes of a family member who did not follow through with proper estate planning strategies. Many failures in estate planning, however, are entirely avoidable when you’re aware of the risks and take proactive steps to avoid them. In most cases in which an estate plan was established and it failed, this comes from the non-technical aspects or the soft side of an estate plan.
One recent book detailed that a reduction in family harmony or asset losses are commonly associated with estate settlement, largely because many people did not know what was involved in the estate.
A recent survey of estate planners also found that certain plans simply fail to meet their goals when the creator of the plan passed away. There are two primary reasons that an estate plan can fall apart. The first of these is failing to follow through, such as originally implementing the documentation and updating it on a regular basis. The second common mistake associated with estate planning is not properly funding a living trust.
These trusts are created to ensure assets are properly managed and to avoid probate but these assets have to be formally transferred into the trust in order for that to happen, meaning that any deeds to a family home or other asset that needs to go into the trust might have to be retitled.
Many people overlook this step and assume the establishment of a living trust in and of itself is enough to accomplish their goals. Thankfully you can avoid this prospect by having an experienced and dedicated estate planning lawyer to guide you through the process.
For more support with your planning, talk to our Pasadena estate planning attorney.