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Here are a few estate planning mistakes to avoid

Drawing up your estate plan is a major step, and it requires a lot of thought. You need to be thorough yet deliberate when you write up the numerous documents that make up your ultimate estate plan. Despite this incredibly important life decision, there are many people out there who forget to include certain aspects in their estate plan, or they make outright mistakes that cost their family when the estate plan is executed.

So here are a few tips when you are drawing up your estate plan to avoid these missteps:

  • Never assume your finances are "too simple" for an estate plan. The fact of the matter is, any accounts or financial assets are a bit complicated, and they need to be protected in an estate plan.
  • Waiting too long before tackling your estate plan. Many people may incorrectly assume that so long as you write up your estate plan at some point, then you're okay. But that's exactly what's wrong with this line of thinking: what if that point never comes? What if you unexpectedly are disabled or suffer catastrophic consequences that incapacitate you? Getting to your estate plan as early on in your life as you can is the best approach.
  • You have digital assets. Don't forget about these. Your Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as other online accounts, are all assets and you can dictate what happens to them when you're no longer around.
  • Remember your pet! If you have a dog, a cat, or any pet really, then you can draw up provisions and plans for how that pet is cared for and who assumes responsibility for it.

Source: Forbes, "7 Common Estate-Planning Blunders Not To Make," LearnVest, Sept. 15, 2014

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