Avoiding common estate planning errors in Atlanta starts with having a better understanding of some common misconceptions and associated myths. The entire reason to plan an estate is to protect your assets and wealth and pass down as much of them as possible—while instituting safeguards that prevent access from creditors and reduce your tax liability.
Namely, a properly planned estate in Atlanta is one that is executed according to your wishes, so that your heirs and your wealth is passed down in the fashion you deem fit. In order to do so, you’ll want to avoid these most common errors.
9 Estate Planning Errors in Atlanta You Want to Avoid
- Omitting your beneficiaries: Failure to name the beneficiaries in combination with failing to review them from time to time can cause issues along the way, such as unnecessary (and expensive) probate, allowing creditor penetration and timely and costly delays.
- Failure to integrate a stretch IRA: If you don’t have a contingent beneficiary in place on an IRA, you could be overlooking timely and valuable IRA tax breaks that could mean the difference between an heir extracting distributions over time that are tax favorable. These benefits can continue even if the original beneficiary has passed away.
- Not removing an ex-spouse from your IRA: Once you get married, your new spouse is the new beneficiary… from day one. But that doesn’t mean they’re the IRA beneficiary. Failure to update this can create havoc.
- Allocating assets to a minor without addressing guardianship issues: Doing so is fickle for a number of reasons including: the handling of the inheritance, and the number of possible inclinations and legal challenges that can directly follow.
- Mistakes in ownership: These can result in a solitary spouse having ownership of too many of the estate’s assets. By balancing and equalizing the estate, and the ownership thereof, tax liability and other liabilities can be limited.
- Not adding the key residuary clause: This type of a clause covers things that you might not own yet but could someday. It even covers ownership of items and possessions you have not listed or are unaware of having.
- Ignoring unexpected circumstances: The reality is that anything can happen. By including your listed assets in a trust, you can prepare as best as possible for things like a sudden decrease in you or your spouse’s health. This type of preventative action gives you full control regardless the unforeseeable situation.
- Ignoring your own mortality: You’re going to want to plan your estate and trust for when the day comes that you are no longer around. If you focus too much on the present (and your mortality), you can easily leave a mess behind that lingers on long after you pass, and that haunts your loved ones.
- Not making updates to your will: Your will and trust can be updated at any time. Its specification is the sheer definition of your final intentions. Not updating it in a timely manner can have far-reaching consequences.
Estate planning in Atlanta requires the careful oversight of an experienced legal professional. A variety of circumstances should be considered, and it’s something that you’ll want to plan well in advance and review every so often. Our law firm specializes in helping our clients plan in advance properly. Give us a call to discuss your estate planning needs today.