Most California residents who are thinking about getting started on their estate plans know that the effort must be “comprehensive” – meaning nothing is left out or forgotten. However, just because you are trying to approach estate planning from a comprehensive angle doesn’t mean that you will be immune to making mistakes. And, there is no doubt, avoiding mistakes is a crucial part of estate planning.
There is wide variety in the instruments available to California residents who are crafting estate plans. Using the wrong instrument for your unique family and financial situation is a mistake that can cause cascading complications for those you intend to inherit your assets. Married couples with children from previous marriages often step into this pitfall, as do young couples who do not update their estate plans as their lives change with the birth of children and growth in their assets, for example. Getting the right information about which estate planning instruments are best for you is a crucial, ongoing part of having and maintaining a comprehensive estate plan.
Another common mistake is to attempt to change details in your estate planning documents with handwritten notes. This is a major mistake, in most cases. If you want to amend your estate plan that is fine, but be sure that you are not taking rash steps that could invalidate all of the work you put into the plan in the first place.
At our law firm, we work with California residents who are going through the estate planning process. We do our best to make sure our clients have the right information to avoid mistakes. For more information, please visit the estate planning overview section of our law firm’s website.