After spending a lifetime building wealth to leave to their heirs, many people fail to take the time to create a basic estate plan that ensures their assets are distributed in a manner in which they would approve. While those who do remember to create an estate plan ensure that their beneficiaries have an idea of how to handle their final wishes, some make major mistakes can lead to serious problems. When an estate planning error occurs, it can be extremely expensive and time consuming to sort through, draining the estate and reducing the amount of money that beneficiaries ultimately receive. Being aware of these three expensive estate planning mistakes may help you avoid making an error that could cost your estate dearly.

Not Updating Your Estate Plan

Once a person creates an estate plan they usually assume the hard part is over and never revisit the plan again. Unfortunately, not checking your plan regularly can lead to some serious issues that your heirs may spend months or years dealing with.  Each year, you should review your estate plan to be sure it complies with current laws to reduce the chances of your estate plan being considered invalid. Also, if there are changes in your life you must ensure that your estate plan reflects those changes. If you have remarried, the last thing you want is your first wife being listed as a beneficiary with children from your current marriage being omitted entirely.

Forgetting to Include Your Business

If you are a business owner, then you need to make sure your business is included in your estate plan. Not making plans for who inherits your business could lead to trouble especially if only certain family members work for the business. Failing to make arrangements could lead to a legal battle between your children or close relatives for control of the business after you are gone. Even if everyone is in agreement regarding what to do with the business, poor planning may lead to the business being sold to pay estate related bills or taxes.

Not Getting Help from an Expert

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes of them all is not getting any help from an estate planning expert. In today’s do-it-yourself-friendly world, it is normal to start or draft your estate plan on your own from home. However, after you have drafted the plan, it is crucial that you take the estate plan to an attorney to have the documents reviewed. Using out of date books, getting advice from friends who are not experts, and using old software can all lead to creating an estate plan that is useless to your heirs.  In extreme cases an estate planning mistake could cause an unwary person to instantly transfer property to their heirs, creating a financial and legal headache for themselves or their spouse.

Contact MMZ Law

When you are ready to create an estate plan, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced trust and estate lawyer. The legal team at MMZ Law is here to answer all of your questions and provide you with the legal advice that you need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Claremont, California location so that we can begin providing you with the assistance that you need.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.