Having an estate plan is an important step for every Massachusetts adult, regardless of income, age and health status. Even with a plan, certain mistakes and missteps can cause significant complications for a family when trying to settle an estate. When walking through the estate planning process, it is prudent to take steps to avoid common mistakes that could potentially lead to complications down the road.
One of the most common estate planning mistakes is failing to have a plan in the first place. If an adult dies without a will or basic estate planning measures in place, a probate court will decide what happens to assets and money. The court may also have to decide who will act as guardian for any minor children. It is especially important for a parent to have plans in place regarding the care of his or her kids.
Another common mistake is failing to update and change plans as needed as life events occur. If a family member dies, a new child is born or an individual goes through a divorce, these things may necessitate changes to beneficiary designations and other aspects of an estate plan. Failing to update plans could cause lead to issues, such as disputes over a will.
Estate planning can be a complex process, but a Massachusetts adult does not have to make these important decisions alone. The guidance of an experienced attorney can prove invaluable as an individual makes choices that will impact his or her future. With the knowledgeable guidance of a legal professional, it is less likely that mistakes will derail estate planning efforts.