Most Myrtle Beach area residents understand the importance of estate planning. There are many benefits to creating an estate plan: asset preservation, communicating health care wishes, charitable giving, among many others. If a Myrtle Beach area family hasn’t created an estate plan there are certain mistakes they should keep in mind and try to avoid.
Creating an estate plan is important for many reasons. A person just never knows when an estate plan will be needed and having one in place can help a family tremendously. There are some estate planning mistakes that can happen though. The first estate planning mistake is not having an estate plan at all. There are no situations in which a person should not have an estate plan, as the unexpected can happen at any time.
The second mistake is not communicating with family members. If a family doesn’t know that an estate plan has been created and where it exists, it will do a person no good. The third mistake is creating an estate plan that only addresses taxes. There are many other reasons to create an estate plan that need to be addressed, including caring for children, charitable giving, succession planning, naming powers of attorney, etc.
The fourth estate planning mistake a person can make is giving assets to minors. Leaving assets to minor children or grandchildren can be a mistake. Minors cannot own legal property and a guardian would have to be appointed to manage the accounts. The fifth mistake a person can make is not updating ownership or titles when there is a death, divorce or other family change. And the sixth mistake a person can make is not funding the trust they create. A trust is often a good option for many families but if it is not funded then it is not valid.
A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can help a family through the process. An attorney understands that estate planning may not be on the top of every family’s list of things to get done but can be critical if something happens. No one expects their loved one will die or become incapacitated due to a tragic accident, but these situations happen every day in North Carolina. Being prepared for the unexpected can be comforting for a family.