Estate planning isn’t always a pleasant topic, but it’s a necessary step for all Louisiana adults. It’s the best way to prepare for the future and protect your family and assets. However, everyone is human and makes mistakes; these are some to avoid when planning your estate.
Not having an estate plan at all
The biggest estate planning mistake is to not have a plan at all. You might think you’re too young and don’t need one. Or perhaps you’re unmarried and have no children; these things don’t matter as you still have an estate. If you die without these crucial legal documents, your assets won’t go to the people you wish to inherit them, but they will be distributed by the state.
Not periodically updating it
Some people mistakenly believe they only need to create an estate plan and leave it at that. However, certain situations call for updating your plan. This should be done whenever circumstances in your life have changed; update your estate plan if you get married or divorced, when you have a new child, when someone dies or if your health has taken a turn.
Failing to add a contingent beneficiary
You might have one particular family member or close friend in mind to inherit a specific asset or financial account. While it’s fine to place their name down as a beneficiary, it’s a mistake to not name an alternate, or contingent, beneficiary. This is necessary in the event that your first choice ends up passing away before you; if this happens, it means you have no one to leave those assets to, but a contingent beneficiary serves as a backup.
Your estate plan can be a lifesaver. Your family will be taken care of so you can breathe easy.