Six mistakes people make which do more harm than good
when planning their estate
1. Titling your real property, bank account or brokerage account in joint names with children or others. This gives control over your asset to others and makes the asset liable for their debt and personal problems, such as divorce.
Remedy: Do not create joint ownership and consult an attorney before considering doing so.
2. Giving a power of attorney granting broad powers to one person.
Remedy: Name two persons who must act in concert and limit the powers to suit the situation.
3. Naming a single person as administrator of your probate estate or trust after your death. A single administrator is certain to commit a breach of duty, even if it is done unintentionally.
Remedy: Name two administrators who watch over each other and provide checks and balances.
4. Failing to learn the basics of inheritance law. Smart people make good decisions and protect their loved ones and themselves.
Remedy: Educate yourself on inheritance laws and rules.
5. Not protecting your children from a previous marriage, if you remarry. Step-children are at the top of the victims' list in inheritance cases.
Remedy: Protect your children with a trust. Consult an attorney early.
6. Preparing a “do-it-yourself estate plan”. These plans create problems for your survivors and often fail to carry out your last wishes.
Remedy: Consult an attorney. The fee is small when compared to the costs, time and hardship resulting from an innocent but tragic mistake.
Courtesy of Attorney Robert Adamski
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