Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

For those who don’t know, around 50% of residents in the United States over the age of 50 do not have a will. There are a lot of individuals out there who put off estate planning until it is too late.  

So, what will happen if you don’t have a will when you die? Do you have any other estate planning tactics in place? 

It’s a major issue to not have an estate plan. However, there are other estate planning mistakes that you can avoid easily. Today, we’re going to share with you some of the most common estate planning mistakes, from not hiring reliable estate planning attorneys Milwaukee to not having a plan. 

Not Transferring Life Insurance Policies 

For those who don’t know, the IRS can tax your life insurance policy upon death. If you don’t want this to happen, you should create a life insurance trust. It’s a permanent trust that is both the beneficiary and the owner. With this, the proceeds of your life insurance will not be taxed heavily and beneficiaries will not have to wait months for a payout.  

Not Updating Estate Plans 

You’ve got to update your estate plans after changes in business or family structure. This includes property acquisition, moving to another state, divorce, death, or birth.  

If you want to ensure your wants align with your will, you’ve got to update your estate plan. 

No Plan for Long-Term Care and Disability 

For those who don’t know, individuals aging 60 and over have a 65% chance of requiring long-term care. This number is extremely high to ignore.  

That is why you need to plan early on. You can do this by considering long-term care and disability insurance policies. You shouldn’t wait too long since rates increase every year.  

Not Having a Plan at All 

You’re giving the state the power to create big decisions if you do not have trust or will. The state can distribute your assets and property. If you’ve got kids under the age of 18, the judge chooses the guardian. This is particularly true if you haven’t assigned one.  

Another major mistake is thinking that everything goes to your living partner if you’re married. However, that is not the case. In several states, the property owned by the deceased is divided between the kids and the living partner. If you write an estate plan, you can trust that your financial and personal affairs are properly handled.  

Taking the DIY Route 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with estate planning is going the DIY route. Of course, you can save money with this. However, you are probably going to make serious errors that leave your loved ones with major issues. You might not have a legal understanding of strategies to plan your estate.  

It can result in a probate court if you take the DIY route. This means that other individuals will choose how your possessions and assets will be divided. Know that estate planning includes insurance policies, retirement accounts, several bank accounts, businesses, and much more. Thus, it’s best to hire an estate planning lawyer.  

Things to Do After Divorce

Finally, you’ve achieved your legal divorce. Perhaps the next thing that you want to do is to sit back and relax. However, almost every mediator and divorce lawyer do not inform clients what to do after divorce to finalize the details practically.  

For those who don’t know, you and your ex-partner have to complete a lot of the practical tasks yourselves.  

Hiring a Milwaukee divorce attorney helps a lot during the divorce process. However, once the divorce is complete, there are several things you have to do on your own. Here are some of them: 

Life Insurance 

Call your life insurance policy provider to update your beneficiaries, insurance levels, and marital status. A couple of these changes might be specified by your divorce agreement. Also, the life insurance company of your ex-partner might be required to inform you if they change a policy in which you’re the trustee or beneficiary. You have to send a letter requesting this to the insurance company if you want this to happen. You should include a copy of your divorce judgment.  

Car Insurance and Title 

Did your transfer the car ownership after the divorce? If the answer is yes, you’ve got to call the Motor Vehicle Department in your state to verify the right steps to transfer the title. Then, call your car insurance company to update your policy.  

Real Estate Title 

You’ll have to transfer the title if either of you is transferring or purchasing your real estate interest to the other. You can do this through the Recorder office of your county. It will need the individual releasing interest in the property to sign a quitclaim deed or bargain and sale deed. You can get these forms via legal publishing companies or paralegals. If one of you are refinancing the property alone, you can prevent these steps. On this occasion, the title will be re-assigned via the title company.  

Satisfactions of Money Judgments 

Divorce money away judgments can involve settlement payments for debts, business interests, investments, or property. Also, you might have spousal support or child support orders. For those who do not know, you’re entitled to have your ex-partner sign a satisfaction of judgment after you’ve made the last payment. You need to go to court to file this judgment satisfaction form. If you do this, you’ll inform possible lenders that you’ve satisfied your accountability for each of the money judgments.  

Get Certified Copies of Your Divorce Judgment 

Buy several additional copies of your divorce judgment. Make sure they’re certified from the county courthouse where you have filed the divorce. The reason for this is that particular companies might need you to offer a certified copy. This will enable them to authorize the changes after divorce. For instance, you might require this to make name changes on your social security card or passport.  

Update Your Will 

After divorce, you should update your will. You can ask your estate planning lawyer what to do after a divorce if you have one. This will guarantee you can protect your estate.

Estate Planning Myths

One subject that a lot of people don’t want to think about is estate planning. However, it is vital to your life plan. Estate planning will help ensure that your family has what they require once you pass.  

It’s extremely crucial to know that there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about estate planning. You will leave your loved ones in a scramble once you pass if you fall victim to these myths. Lucky for you, we are here to help. 

Creating a plan with the help of an estate planning lawyer Milwaukee is the ideal thing you can do to guarantee that your financial goals and your loved ones are taken care of. Here are several estate planning myths you should know: 

Neglecting Possible Scenarios 

Estate planning isn’t simply about assigning a beneficiary and leaving it at that. You also have to consider possible cases such as what if that individual isn’t able to make his/her own decisions anymore? Or what if that individual passes as well? You’ve got to ensure you have alternative plans for your assets if situations change.  

You Don’t Have to Coordinate Your Insurance Policies or Retirement Accounts 

Though it might appear clear that your life insurance and 401k are part of your estate, you should still include them when planning your asset divisions and beneficiaries. Keep in mind that the individual that you assign to obtain the money on the actual accounts need to match the individual listed in your estate plan.  

Your Loved Ones Will Do the Right Thing 

Though the hope is that your loved ones will honor your wishes and do the correct thing, the ideal thing that you could do is write them down to alleviate any possible problems. If you make your wishes very clear, you can trust that your loved ones will take care of things the way you wished.  

You’re Married So Everything Will Go to Your Partner 

Though being married does make dividing your assets appear a little simpler, there are many things that could change that. What if there are particular things that you would like to go to your kids? What if your partner remarries or if both of you pass together? These cases come up very often. It can leave your finances in disorder without an estate plan. 

You Are Too Young to Be Concerned About Estate Planning 

Unluckily, every single person out there is painfully aware that life can change at any moment. In fact, it does not matter how old you are or how much estate you’ve got. The best thing you can do for your family and yourself is to create a plan as soon as possible.  

Estate Planning is Just for the Rich People 

Estate planning applies to every single person out there, not just rich individuals. It does not matter how many assets you’ve got, how many valuables you own, or how much money you’ve got in your accounts. You’ve got to ensure that whether you have will go to the individual that you want.  

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