Stephen A. Martin, Attorney at Law
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Don't make these estate planning mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life. It is how people grow and learn. Unfortunately, when it comes to estate planning, there is no room for errors. Mistakes will cost Missouri residents and their loved ones a lot in the end. Here are a few of the most commonly seen estate planning mistakes.

Mistake number one: failing to plan for illness or incapacitation. Many Missouri residents believe that estate plans only cover what is to happen to their assets when they die. This simply is not true. A solid estate plan will also include plans for illness or incapacitation. This means the proper insurances will be put in place and personal representatives designated.

Mistake number two: failing to update plans. Change is a constant in life. This means estate plans may need to be changed to keep in line with one's wants and wishes. Failing to update an estate plan means that a lack of protections may exist. Who wants that?

Mistake number three: failing to consider taxes. Income taxes and estate taxes can cost beneficiaries a pretty penny. There may be ways to lessen the blow, though. Legal counsel can offer planning ideas that address this issue.

Mistake number four: failing to prepare a real plan. Having some sort of plan scribbled down is better than nothing, but it is not going to be airtight. Having a real estate plan in place can help ensure one's wishes are known and honored.

Estate planning is something many Missouri residents put off or rush through because they don't want to spend time thinking about it, they believe they have time or they think it is unimportant. The reality of the situation is, estate planning is worthy of one's time, thought and consideration. There is simply too much at stake to put it off or rush through it. An experienced attorney can assist those who are interested in establishing estate plans that truly serve their needs.

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