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5 Most Common Mistakes Made In Estate Planning

By Ben Smith

Let’s look at the facts. Estate planning involves so many different areas. It’s difficult for a good estate lawyer to know all of the intricacies, let alone an average person! Mistakes are bound to occur when a typical person tries to plan his estate without the help of a good New York estate planning attorney.

While there are dozens of pitfalls one can stumble into in the world of estate planning, a few of the more common ones are listed below:

1. Believing Your Family Won’t Fight Over The Estate. You’ve probably seen your fair share of court shows on TV where families are fighting over the property left by their parents. You look at your kids and grandkids and assume they could never do that to each other. They’re not greedy, after all. While greed has always played a role in estate fights, the emotional attachment that people have to certain pieces of property will spark just as many battles. An old teddy bear, a wedding album, a set of cast iron skillets, and many other items often will have no significant dollar value. If the division of property is not clear, these kinds of emotions can lead to a long court battle. Get a New York estate planning lawyer to help you keep this from happening.

2. Not Updating Your Will. Many individuals make the mistake of assuming that once a will is written, they never have to change it again. Not true! Your will can become outdated almost as soon as it’s been written. If you obtained new property it won’t be covered under your current will. If a child or grandchild was born to you after the will was written he won’t be covered either. Listen to what changes a New York probate lawyer tells you could warrant a review of the will. Once it needs to be updated he will assist you.

3. Believing Only Wealthy Families Need Estate Plans. Many have the wrong idea of just how valuable their property is and assume that they don’t need to bother with estate planning. Once the value of a home has been factored in most individuals would be shocked to see just how much their estate is really worth. The tax-free threshold doesn’t seem so high in light of this revelation. Your estate could end up being taxed heavily as a result of poor planning. Discuss this with your accountant and an executor attorney to determine the value of your estate and the appropriate steps to take once known.

4. Appointing Estate Managers Based On Family Position. People often make the mistake of letting family ties get in the way of their decision to appoint managers for their estate. You feel that your oldest son should be the executor, as he is the first born and new head of the household. Decisions such as these should always be based on the skill of the individual. It’s not fair to anyone if the person chosen isn’t able to carry out his duties. Choose wisely. The impartiality of an executor lawyer may help you make the decisions that are best for everyone involved.

5. Not Getting Around To It At All. More people are guilty of this than any other mistake! You put it off and put it off, knowing you’ll eventually get around to it. Then you forget, and it never happens. Don’t let your estate be tied up in court for years. Have an attorney help you set up a proper estate plan. If you have minor children you need cared for, look to a guardianship attorney for assistance. A living will attorney will help you if you’re concerned about what will happen should you ever become incapacitated.

The law offices of Marchese & Maynard staff some of the best executor attorneys available. Get to their site and get a New York estate planning attorney to assist you today.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Smith, Ben "5 Most Common Mistakes Made In Estate Planning." 5 Most Common Mistakes Made In Estate Planning. 21 Jun. 2010. 30 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Smith, B (2010, June 21). 5 Most Common Mistakes Made In Estate Planning. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Smith, Ben "5 Most Common Mistakes Made In Estate Planning"

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