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Estate planning mistakes that could lead to litigation

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is something that all Illinois residents should do to prepare for the future. However, it’s easy to make certain mistakes that could later cost you. These are some of the most common ones.

Not having one at all

Perhaps the worst mistake you could make is not having an estate plan at all. It means that after you die, no one will be able to manage your affairs and estate. People you would have otherwise left inheritances might not get anything at all. This could cause a lot of grief to your loved ones.

Not updating your beneficiaries

Your beneficiaries should be periodically updated. Whenever something in your life changes, they should be updated. This could involve the death of a spouse, divorce, remarriage, the birth of a child, starting a business or even someone deciding they no longer want to inherit anything from you.

All of your most important estate planning documents should be updated as circumstances change.

Naming the wrong person as executor of your estate

It’s important to name the right person to serve as the executor of your estate. Not everyone is appropriate for this role. For example, if you name your brother but he has a serious gambling problem, he might not be the best person for the job. Choosing someone financially responsible is wise. This could help avoid a potential lawsuit based on self-dealing.

Only having a will

Some people think that only having a will is enough when it comes to estate planning. This isn’t true. Things can become complicated if you go this route. You can’t name individuals to handle your financial and medical matters this way. A will alone can also cause probate to last too long, which means your heirs might have to wait months or years to get their share of assets and property.

Not funding a trust

Trusts need to be funded with assets. Some people create a revocable living trust but then neglect to fund it, making it useless and leading to a potential lawsuit from the named beneficiary.

If you avoid making these estate planning mistakes, it can benefit everyone.