Four Common Estate Planning Missteps

Four Common Estate Planning MisstepsA well thought out and executed estate plan can provide peace of mind and financial security. Although mortality or the possibility of serious accidents or illnesses are not matters that anyone cares to dwell on, sometimes these events arise, so it is important to have an estate plan that effectively deals with such issues. Our Bernalillo County Estate Planning Lawyers have highlighted four types of mistakes and miscalculations that often derail effective estate planning.

Make the Family Business Part of a Personal Estate Plan:

When business succession strategies are not made part of an individual’s estate plan, this can cause huge problems for a family business when the business owner of a family business dies. Issues may arise in terms of how to divide the business or handle income between those kids that work in the business and those who do not participate. If the kids cannot agree on these issues, there may be no viable option but to sell the business at a significant discount. Sometimes purchasing life insurance might offer an option to cover estate tax liabilities and to equalize the distributions between kids based on whether they participate in operation and/or management of the family business.

Bypassing an Experienced Estate Planning Expert:

While some people attempt to use estate planning documents out of DIY books, this often results in the documents failing to accomplish the objectives that led to creation of the document. Along with issues that arise when the terms and legal implications of the documents are not thoroughly understood, there is a risk that the documents will be executed incorrectly or that follow-up steps necessary for implementation will be neglected. Even if a person decides to draft some of his or her own documents to save money, the best estate planning strategy in this situation is to have an experienced Bernalillo County Estate Planning Lawyer review your overall plan and individual documents.

Neglecting Review or Revision of Existing Documents:

Many estate plans fail to provide the protection intended because they have not been modified or revised based on changes in the law, family structure, economic conditions, and other factors.

Using Lump Sum vs. Incremental Disbursement:

When leaving funds directly to your children, the financial benefits from the funds may be undermined if the beneficiary has a drug addiction, gambling problem, poor money management skills, or similar traits. A living trust that provides for incremental distributions and asset management by a trustee can protect beneficiaries from creditors and their own financial mistakes.

Is It Time to Have Your Irrevocable Trust Reviewed by an Attorney?

The above information is designed solely to illustrate general principles of law, and does not constitute a specific legal opinion on individual cases. We suggest that you contact experienced legal counsel for a specific opinion tailored to your individual circumstances.

If you have questions about estate planning issues in New Mexico, our Bernalillo County Estate Planning Lawyers at Life Leaf Legal Group, PC offer a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque so that we can discuss your specific situation. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (505) 856-3591 to learn about your rights and options.

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