Estate Planning Mistakes

Estate Planning WorksheetEstate planning can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be, as long as you avoid some common mistakes and pitfalls.

A story on lists some of those mistakes. They include:

* Failing to plan. If you don’t have a will or an estate plan, the state can make decisions for you.

* Not maximizing your marital estate exemption. New “portability” law provisions ease some of the estate planning burden. Each individual is currently allowed a $5.43 million exemption. If one spouse dies without using his or her $5.43 million, the unused portion may be transferred to the other spouse for use at the survivor’s death.

* Naming a family member as executor. A loved one may be too emotional to focus on the job at hand. That person may also be a beneficiary, causing a potential conflict of interest.

* Relying on family or friends for advice. It is best to use a professional.


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