12 Critical Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid During the COVID Pandemic (And All the Other Times, Too)
Good estate planning is good estate planning no matter what is going on in the world. While there are some special considerations for planning during COVID, the same rules apply. With that in mind, we present 12 critical estate planning mistakes to avoid during the COVID pandemic (and all other times, too).
But before we get into the mistakes that too many people make with their estate plans, let’s go over the basics of estate planning so you have an understanding of the tools and terminology we’ll be using.
So, what is the purpose of an “estate plan” anyway? Sounds pretty straight forward but in 2021 it is not always as simple as just going to that local attorney “who also does wills” and getting a quick will done up like our grandparents did and calling it good. Health, tax and state laws that affect your assets are constantly changing and there are a number of complex issues to consider and understand before you sign on the line.
An estate plan is very much like a puzzle that is unique to each person. If your estate puzzle is missing a key piece, or that component is not properly prepared, your wishes may not be carried out and the probate process, taxes, attorney fees and other costs could eat up a significant share of your estate, leaving nothing.
In a Nutshell: Estate planning is the preparation of legal documents, organization of tasks, and naming of qualified persons that serve to manage an individual’s assets in the event of their incapacitation or death.
The planning includes the bequest of assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes. Most estate plans are set up with the help of an attorney experienced
in estate law.
There are a number of key components in any estate plan and understanding what those components are will ensure that your plan is the best it can be. Again, a good estate plan is like a puzzle that protects your assets and family while you are alive as well as after you pass away. What follows is a short guide to those key components and definitions of some other important terms.