As you begin the process of planning your estate, you may be worried about making sure you take the right steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Unfortunately, mistakes are common during estate planning, especially when people do not have the help of an attorney. Before you take steps to protect your wishes in a will, trust, or other estate planning instrument, consult with an Illinois estate planning lawyer who can help you make sure you have all the information you need to set up a plan that meets your needs. Here are some common estate planning pitfalls to avoid.
Not Discussing Your Estate Plan
Many people keep their estate plan a secret because they fear they will expose themselves to criticism, open up interpersonal conflict within their family, or because they are just afraid to bring up an unpleasant topic. But experts say it is better to have these sensitive conversations before someone is surprised by being designated as your beneficiary, executor, or power of attorney. You do not need to divulge all the details of your estate plan, but you can minimize confusion and provide clear direction by keeping all relevant parties informed.
Not Updating Your Estate Plan
The only constant in life is change, and this is never more true than when planning for how your estate will be managed. Divorce, death, new additions to the family, or family disagreements may necessitate updating your estate plan from time to time. Even if you are not sure whether you need to make any changes, regularly reviewing your estate plan will ensure it is still meeting your needs.
Not Including Important Medical Decisions
We may not know when or where we will die, but we can know for sure it will happen to all of us. Unfortunately, without an estate plan that expresses your wishes for healthcare, you may be subject to medical treatment that you do not want – and to which you cannot consent. Prepare for any contingency by including your wishes for healthcare, a power of attorney who can make medical decisions on your behalf, and how you would like to be treated if you are unresponsive.
Contact a Cook County Estate Planning Lawyer
Creating an estate plan involves answering difficult questions and understanding your own deepest wishes. To get help with this complex area of law, schedule a free consultation with the experienced, compassionate DuPage County estate planning attorneys with [[title]]. Our focus is on making sure you feel welcome and comfortable, so we will never pressure you into doing something you are not ready for. Call us today at [[phone]].