Tip 1: Rely on the Internet for legal advice.
One of the best ways to increase the chances that your estate plan will not work is to create your own plan using the advice you find on the Internet. Anyone can post anything they want on the Internet and you have no way of determining if it’s true, wise, or even legal. Though there is helpful guidance to be found, do-it-yourself resources and Internet wisdom will never be the same as the individually tailored advice an experienced and qualified estate planning lawyer can provide you.
Tip 2: Ignore your medical desires.
Many people believe that an estate plan is only about transferring your property to your children or family after you die. While that issue does make up a lot of estate planning, there are other concerns that are also very important and which are not covered by wills, trusts, or other inheritance strategies. A good estate plan should contain medical directives that accurately reflect your wishes for health care. Should you become unable to express your desires, your estate plan will be able to stand in for you and direct your health care providers in the type of care you wish to receive. Not having advance medical directives will leave these difficult choices up to your family, or even a court, to make.
Tip 3: Don’t have one.
The most common form of estate planning is not having one that they have created. A majority of Americans have not taken any steps to create an estate plan, and that number is much higher for younger people or those who have not reached retirement age. The fact is your state already has laws that make your estate planning choices for you. If you don’t take the appropriate legal steps to recognize your own choices, you will be left with the choices that lawmakers have already made and most likely put decisions about your the fate of your assets and your loved ones in the hands of a stranger wearing a black robe.
While creating a will or trust does require some effort, the peace of mind and feeling of control that results certainly makes the effort worthwhile. The best place to start is with a consultation with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.
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