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Avoiding common estate planning mistakes

by | Dec 1, 2018 | estate planning

As the year comes to an end, many in Pennsylvania are making resolutions for a positive 2019. One of the best resolutions people can make for themselves and their families is to begin the process of estate planning. This is not something that can be rushed or done without careful consideration since it involves issues that deal with the end of someone’s life as well as providing for loved ones through an inheritance. For such sensitive matters, it is wise to have legal counsel to avoid some of the common mistakes that can result in distress for those left behind.

Even the simplest estate may have different kinds of assets that would be difficult for loved ones to find and manage after the estate owner’s death. These may include real estate in other states, bank accounts in multiple banks, investments and digital assets. Failing to leave loved ones with the information and authorizations they need to locate and access those accounts can create confusion and stress. Some advisors recommend that clients keep a roster of those accounts, locations and passwords in a secure place where loved ones can find them when necessary.

For many, once an estate plan is signed and filed, they forget about it. As time goes on and people drift in and out of one’s life, the beneficiary designations he or she makes in a will or trust may become obsolete. It is critical to revisit one’s estate plan frequently to ensure all designations are relevant and appropriate.

Avoiding these mistakes can improve the chances that one’s estate plan will accomplish the goals the estate owner intends. This may include avoiding disputes among heirs and providing well for family and loved ones. Seeking assistance from a Pennsylvania attorney is a good way to get the most from one’s estate planning in the Keystone State.