4 Pitfall Mistakes to Avoid When Estate Planning

These Estate Planning Mistakes Can Be Avoided

Estate planning mistakes can range from not having an estate plan to having an outdated plan, to having an incomplete plan. Protecting your assets and financial future is a fluid situation as laws and regulations change on a yearly basis. An estate plan from 2010 might not be the best course of action heading into 2017. Let’s take a quick look at four pitfalls and mistakes to avoid when estate planning.

Estate Planning Mistake #1: HAVING NO ESTATE PLAN

The biggest mistake a person can make with their estate plan is not having one at all. It does not matter how much money you do or not have, creating a basic estate plan is vital to protect your assets and financial future. The one myth that everyone needs to get out of their heads is “estate plans are only for the wealthy”.

The essential documents you need to start an estate plan are a will, living will, powers of attorney (both health and financial) and a living trust. Just be sure these documents get drafted by an experienced estate planning attorney.

Estate Planning Mistake #2: HAVING AN OUTDATED ESTATE PLAN

Just because you’ve created an estate plan, doesn’t mean the process is complete. Laws and regulations change on a yearly basis, and estate plans need to be updated (or at least reviewed) every five to seven years. However, even just setting the change in laws aside, how much can a person’s life change over the course of seven years? People get married, divorced, have children, grandchildren, and a host of other life events.

One of the worse things you can do for your financial future is to have an estate plan, but not update it as your life changes and grows. Wouldn’t you hate to pass away and not leave anything to a new child or grandchild who was born in the last few years?


Many people tend to overlook beneficiary designations when drafting an estate plan because a wills and trusts do not disburse retirement plans and other insurance benefits. However, failing to update those beneficiaries after a life change will only delay the distribution to loved ones after you pass away. If you get divorced, remarry, or have a spouse who dies, be sure to change your beneficiary’s on all insurances and retirement plans.

Estate Planning Mistake #4: FAILING TO PLAN FOR LONG-TERM CARE

Planning for long term care is something that most people fail to account for. Nursing home stays can be expensive and eat away at a person’s life savings. Ignoring this aspect of your financial future would be a huge mistake. When you sit down to draft an estate plan, speak with your attorney about putting measures in place to help pay for long-term care while also protecting your assets.

When you are ready to start an estate plan or update an existing one, contact us at (800) 403-6078 for a FREE consultation with an expert estate planning attorney. Our team specializes in protecting your assets and qualifying our elderly clients for long-term care benefits through Medi-Cal. Don’t let another day pass you by without protecting your assets and future. We look forward to working with you!

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