Having an estate plan can help many West Virginia residents safeguard against various issues that could arise. However, though estate planning can be immensely helpful, complications could come about if a plan is not created or updated properly. When individuals make mistakes with their plans, information could become outdated or terms may not be enforceable.
One mistake that parties will likely want to avoid is failing to update an estate plan after the death of an heir or beneficiary. In most cases, people name their spouses and children as immediate beneficiaries, but if a spouse or child dies, it is important that they are removed from the estate plan. It is understandable that this thought may not immediately cross someone's mind during such a time of grief, but without an update, assets could be left in question.
Another mistake individuals could make is thinking that a will can help avoid probate proceedings. Though a will can offer many benefits, avoiding probate is not one of them. Assets distributed by use of a will still need to go through this legal process. If parties hope to help their family avoid probate, they may want to consider other planning tools, like trusts.
Estate planning mistakes are relatively easy to make. If West Virginia residents do not have the right information or assistance when creating their plans, they could easily overlook important details or create a plan with misconceptions in mind. Therefore, individuals hoping to create an effective and legally-binding estate plan may wish to consult with knowledgeable attorneys.
Source: ithaca.com, "Business: Key estate planning mistakes to avoid", Jennifer L. Alfieri, Nov. 8, 2017