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Don't make these 3 estate planning mistakes

We talk a lot about how not planning for end-of-life is one of the biggest and most common errors people make with regard to estates, but even if you jump into estate planning now, you could make a common mistake that causes extra cost or stress later. Here's a look at three common errors to avoid as you plan.

First, don't just plan for the end of your life. Plan for your end-of-life years, too. These aren't topics many people want to dwell on, but the truth is that most individuals don't live a perfectly healthy life and then pass away. Often, end-of-life years involve some medical care requirements or even chronic illnesses or disabilities. Plan ahead for such considerations with provisions such as long-term care insurance.

Second, don't forget about tax considerations. Work with professionals in estate law and finance to understand how tax burdens could impact you or your heirs. You might be able to reduce those burdens via gifts or trusts, but there isn't a magic button that waives away all tax requirements. Make sure you understand how each action you take with regard to estate planning might change your tax obligations.

Finally, don't take estate administrator decisions lightly. People often just choose one of their children or another close relative to administer an estate because it seems like the right thing to do. It can feel comfortable leaving this responsibility to a person you are close to because you trust them. While trust is a critical part of this decision, so is capability. Your executor must be able to carry out the duties, so consider someone who is well-read, logical and doesn't get overwhelmed with information.

Source: FindLaw, "10 Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid," accessed Dec. 02, 2016

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