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What are some common estate planning mistakes?

If you’re working on an estate plan in Ohio, you likely know how complex the process can actually be. Accordingly, there are a number of commonly made mistakes to avoid, which can impact the validity of your estate plan and even result in a protracted probate hearing. To help you sidestep any potential issues, Forbes offers the following advice.

Misunderstanding the estate plan

While it’s best to work with an attorney when creating your estate plan, professional legal guidance doesn’t absolve you of all responsibility. If you lack an understanding of your obligations or what is required of you to ensure your plan is valid, be sure to ask your attorney any lingering questions you may have. If you feel there is too much information to remember on your own, take notes during meetings so you have a reference point.

Failing to fund trusts appropriately

Living trusts are a great estate planning tool, provided you know how to use them. Once a trust is created it must then be funded. With property, such as a home or automobile, this entails changing the deed or title to show trust ownership. If you fail to fund the trust properly these assets won’t be included, and it will be up to the court to decide who gets what. Again, understanding your responsibilities explicitly is crucial to ensure your wishes are carried out.

Not revisiting the estate plan

Major life events, such as a divorce, death in the family, or a new marriage, should spur you to revisit your plan. It’s also a good idea to look over your plan once a year or so to ensure it still meets your needs. Things are bound to change throughout the course of your life and you want to make sure that your estate plan reflects these changes throughout.