Michigan residents often understand that it is important to plan for their deaths. However, people may not know exactly how to go about doing that. Estate planning is so important that without the right help, people may end up making decisions that turn out to be mistakes in the long run. There are a few common mistakes that Michigan residents should avoid as they are drafting their estate planning documents.

One mistake that experts say people should avoid is keep the process a secret. People should discuss their end-of-life desires and plans with their close family and friends. People should make sure that their children and other loved ones know how the estate will be split. This way if problems are created by the plan, people can deal with them when they are still alive.

Another common mistake people make is forgetting about taxes. People must understand the tax implications to their estate planning tools. It’s important for people to know how much of the estate will be taken by the government, so they know how much their loved ones will really get. Also, with proper planning it may be possible to ease some of this tax burden.

Finally, another critical mistake some people make when estate planning is failing to update the estate plan over time. As the years go on, there will be deaths, births, marriages and divorces. All of these major life events can significantly change a person’s estate planning needs. People should account for these changes and update their estate plans frequently.

By keeping these common estate planning mistakes in mind, Michigan residents should be better prepared for creating their own estate plans and keeping them up to date.

Source: Business Insider, “5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid,” Mandi Woodruff, Oct. 21, 2013