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Planning mistakes lead to estate administration & probate

A recent survey revealed that over 30 percent of Americans do not believe they need a will or simply have not bothered to make one.  According to financial advocates, not having a will is the first of several mistakes people make regarding estate planning. Not having a plan at all may mean a person's lifetime of work will not provide for his or her family the way it was intended. In Georgia and across the country, saving one's family estate administration & probate hassles is only one positive result of having a will.

Even if a person has made a will, he or she may be making some serious mistakes. Creating a will under the assumption that one's life will not change may result in some family tension when the testator is gone. Divorces and remarriages may have changed the family structure. Moreover, the assets being bequeathed may have changed or no longer exist. Estate planners recommend reviewing one's will every two years to make sure it still accurately reflects one's wishes.

Reviewing the will frequently also gives one an opportunity to reconsider whether the heirs could manage a windfall inheritance. Often, when a person drafts a will, the true tendencies of some heirs -- such as drug or gambling addictions, undisciplined spending or immature financial knowledge -- may not yet be obvious. The same may be true for the trustee one selects. Some make the mistake of choosing someone who will be unavailable or incapable fulfilling the duties in later years. Using a professional executor may be a better choice.

Another mistake people in Georgia may make is not trusting their estate planning to a professional. Using cheap software may give one incomplete or incorrect results, leaving one's heirs no choice but estate administration & probate. Consulting an experienced attorney for advice and guidance in estate planning ensures that the unique needs of the estate will be met.

Source: cnbc.com, "Don't drop the ball when planning your estate", Trey Smith, Sept. 13, 2016

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