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Common estate planning mistakes to avoid

If you try to create an Estate Plan without the help of a New York attorney, you might make mistakes that can render portions, or even your whole Will invalid.

As with many things, it’s best to get professional help when creating your Estate plan – from start to finish – so as to ensure that your family and loved ones are protected after you pass.

What are some major Estate Planning mistakes?

First and foremost, if an attorney supervises the signing of your Will, the law “presumes” that the Will is valid. If you draft and have your Will signed without a supervising attorney present, this “presumption of validity” is lost, and might make your Will subject to a successful challenge. For this reason alone, the importance of having an attorney involved with the preparation and signing of your Will can’t be overstated.

What are some major Estate Planning mistakes that will affect your minor children?

Many lay people who prepare their own Wills commonly make the mistake of naming their minor children as beneficiaries.

At first, this might seem like an easy way to ensure that your children get their share of your Estate.

However, your children can’t inherit the Estate until they turn eighteen. This another easily avoidable mistake that an attorney will be sure to avoid.

To that end, if you don’t name a Guardian for your children in your Will, the Court will appoint one.

This Court appointed Guardian will have control over your children’s inheritance until they reach adulthood.

The Court will try to act in your children’s best interests, but they might choose the wrong person, and the one who is named might take advantage of their access to your children’s inheritance.

To prevent this potential issue, your estate planning attorney can assist you with Guardianship Planning for your minor child or children to ensure that you exercise your power to select someone that you trust to do the right thing.

Other common mistakes that hiring an attorney will avoid.

Other common mistakes include creating different versions of your Will, but not making it clear which one you intend as your “Last” Will & Testament; keeping your Estate Planning documents in different locations where they can’t be found after you pass; not retaining an original copy of your Will that can be offered to the Court for Probate; neglecting to account for the difference between “Probate” and “non-Probate” assets; not updating your Will to account for changes in your life circumstances; and including contradicting instructions in your Will and/or Estate Plan as a whole.

Any of these mistakes could tie up your affairs after you have passed away and make it difficult – or sometimes impossible – for your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance as you had planned.

If you want to prepare an Estate Plan, contact the experienced attorneys at Bashian P.C. so as to make sure that you avoid these, and other, common mistakes.

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