Having an estate plan in place long before it is needed is a responsible step most people take the time to make. However, there may still be room for mistakes or mishaps even after a person has had an estate plan drafted and put into effect. By drafting a comprehensive estate plan and then ensuring the details are managed correctly, Michigan family members can ensure wishes are upheld and an estate is handled as envisioned.

One mistake that some make is simple oversight — not signing the will. Legal documents are worth the time and energy put into drafting them, but only if those documents are finalized. Regardless of the specifics or how well-known intentions and wishes may be, the will is useless without a valid signature. Some may have specific reasons for not signing a will right away, though they should realize that is a risky move.

Another mistake some make is to be avoid the potential tax implications. State and federal taxes are complex. Knowing what part of an estate may be taxable and how much may be lost in the shuffle of settling tax debt can help a person decide an exact amount to leave behind and the best manner in which to leave that to beneficiaries.

For most Michigan families, the difficult part of creating an estate plan may be deciding just what should be done with assets and funds. Once a family makes those difficult decisions, it is vital that the estate plan be to the benefit of all involved and properly handled. By being aware of common mistakes made by others, an estate plan can be customized and created in a way that minimizes tax burdens, disputes or confusion for the family left behind.

Source: thestreet.com, “Stop Making These Three Terrible Estate Planning Mistakes“, Scott Gamm, Aug. 14, 2015

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