Estate Planning: What Not To Do


Written on December 5, 2012 – 5:02 am | by Elaine Blades

Administering an estate can be compared to undertaking a home renovation – it’s almost guaranteed something will go wrong. The “something” can be relatively minor (a squabble over who gets mom’s china) or it can result in costly litigation and long-lived animosity among family members.

Most problems can however be avoided with good planning. The best way to recognize good planning is to contrast it with bad planning. Topping my list of estate planning mistakes are:

1. failing to prepare a Will
2. failing to keep your Will up-to-date
3. creating a DIY Will

To learn more about the problems these mistakes can cause, see my article What not to do in Estate Planning.

Another potential mistake is registering assets in joint tenancy with someone other than your (first) spouse. To learn more about the headaches this seemingly innocuous technique may cause, along with the risks in preparing a Will that’s simply¬†“too simple”, see my article Don’t take these shortcuts.

Thanks for reading and happy planning.

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