All estate plans are highly personal, yet many people fall prey to the same common mistakes when drafting their plans. By being aware of the most common mistakes found in estate plans, Michigan families can prevent those mistakes from causing problems after loved ones have passed. These common estate plan mistakes can cause a great deal of family strife and become financially painful.

One common mistake is forgetting or ignoring existing sibling rivalry. One way to counter existing rivalry or rivalry that crops up as a result of a passing is for parents to talk about the future and ensure the estate plan is known and respected before it is ever put into motion. Another mistake to avoid is forgetting to account for life changes that should be reflected in the plan. These changes can be the result of divorce, the disinheritance of a child or accommodations that may need to be made for blended families.

The appointing of a trustee is vital. Some may believe appointing co-trustees is a great idea; however, co-trustees may be fine in theory but not work smoothly in reality. If there is a slight chance of disagreement or strife, a co-trustee situation can be more of a headache than expected.

The process of creating an estate plan can be complicated and require revisiting over the years. When family members in Michigan discuss a plan and work together to ensure an estate plan is workable, the entire process can be less stressful and smoother for those left behind. Each party should reflect on his or her needs and wishes and seek proper guidance to ensure those wishes and needs are upheld.

Source:, “5 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes You Can Make“, Jason Notte, July 13, 2015

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