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Estate planning mistakes to avoid

Kent area residents who have taken the time to create an estate plan are ahead of the game. Although creating an estate plan may not appeal to many people, these plans are critical in order to make sure a person's family and assets are protected. But, there are estate planning mistakes that should be avoided.

One of the biggest mistakes that a person can make when it comes to estate planning is not having an estate plan at all. Not having an estate plan puts the fate of their children, their family, their health and their assets in the hands of others. Another mistake is not having directives in place. These directives include health care directives and a financial power of attorney. When these documents are not in place, it can be left to the court to make these decisions. For those who have children, not having a guardian or having an inappropriate guardian named can be another mistake. Sometimes, people choose grandparents to be guardians, but that may be a mistake as the grandparents may be too old.

An additional estate planning mistake to avoid is not updating an estate plan once it is created. There are many life events that can affect an estate plan, so it is important to make sure the plan is reviewed annually to ensure nothing has changed. Assets should also be properly titled. If there is a trust in place, the assets should be under the trust's name.

Creating an estate plan is one of the most important tasks a family should complete. By avoiding common estate planning mistakes, a family can ensure their wishes will be followed.

Source:, "8 estate planning mistakes that can hurt clients", Amanda Schiavo, April 12, 2018

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To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

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