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Dos and Don’ts: Estate Planning Mistakes

Giveth and takethKnowing what the most common
 estate planning mistakes are is a great first step, but it does not do any good unless you also know how to avoid them.

The old saying that knowledge is power is only a half truth in many cases. You do not just need to know a fact. You also need to know how to use that fact to derive power. This is the case in estate planning. For example, you might know that it is desirable to avoid probate, but that is of little use unless you also know how to create an estate plan that will keep an estate out of probate. For the same reason it is important to not only know what common estate planning mistakes are but also to know how to avoid them.

A recent article by The Street entitled "How to Avoid the Most Common Estate Planning Mistake" discusses the most common mistakes and how to avoid them. Tips from the article include:

  • Updating Beneficiary Designations – People often fail to update the beneficiaries of their retirement accounts and life insurance policies, which leads to the wrong people getting the assets. Avoiding this mistake is as simple as filling out a form.
  • Communicating With Heirs – When your heirs do not know what to expect from your estate plan, it can lead to hurt feelings and anger. This can be avoided by telling people what to expect.
  • Creating Your Own Will – If you create your own will, you are likely to make mistakes in it. To avoid this problem, seek the assistance of an estate planning attorney.
  • Failing to Account for the Estate Tax – If you do not plan for the estate tax, then your estate might face a hefty bill that could have been avoided.

Fortunately, these potential miscues can be avoided by contacting a qualified estate planning attorney to guide you. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

Reference: The Street (October 31, 2015) "How to Avoid the Most Common Estate Planning Mistake"

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Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.