5 Most Common Mistakes in Estate Planning

These Surprisingly Common Estate Planning Mistakes Can Cost You

Taking hold of your financial future can be tricky unless you are a financial expert, which most of us are not. However, estate planning and protecting your assets is something each and every one of us should do. Here are three common estate planning mistakes to avoid:

1) Assuming Estate Plans Are Only for the Wealthy:

One of the biggest financial mistakes people make is assuming estate planning is only for the wealthy. If you have any type of assets, children, and pets or want to give control to a family member in the case of a life-threatening emergency, you need to set up these legal documents to be protected: a health care directive, a financial power of attorney, and a living trust.

2) Having a Do-It-Yourself Mentality When it Comes to Documents:

A DIY mentality might be great for a kitchen remodel or cleaning up your backyard. However, tackling legal documents that will be the primary factor in figuring out where your assets will go after death should be handled with a legal professional who can provide advice and expertise from all angles.

3) Forgetting About Digital Assets:

Life has changed over the last decade and many people now have online assets—like email, Facebook, and bank accounts—with valuable information. Many people forget to produce a list of passwords and account logins for their online assets. Social media accounts are filled with pictures and memories that your family members might want to access.

4) Giving All of Your Assets One Person:

Many people make the mistake of passing down all their assets to a single person like a spouse, with the hopes that they will then pass those assets on to other family members and heirs. However, people get remarried and life eventually moves on after a person passes away. The best course of action is to take the time and designate where all your assets will go in a detailed manner. If you want to give money to your grand children’s college education, set up a trust to do so instead of just asking your spouse to give them money if you pass away.

5) Not Leaving Cash Behind:

Keeping your cash tied up in various investment accounts is a great way to make money. However, if you pass away that money would not be immediately available for your heirs to cover expenses like a funeral or other legal costs. Finical experts advise people to keep some of their assets “liquid” to help cover any final expenses.


If you are at the point in life where you are ready to start an estate plan and securing your assets for future generations of your family, our expert attorneys at Elder Law Services of California are here to help. We have been in business for over 20 years and pride ourselves in employing a team expert estate and Medi-Cal planning attorneys who are ready to help meet your needs. Give us a call at (800) 403-6078 for a FREE consultation today. We look forward to serving you!

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