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Avoid these major estate planning errors

Those who wish to execute solid estate plans will no doubt research the process ahead of time to learn more about the ins and outs of the system. Illinois has its own regulations and guidelines for estate planning, as do other states. An estate owner does well to seek guidance in the process before diving in. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide information to help an estate owner avoid potential errors that could negatively impact a plan.

One of the biggest mistakes estate owners tend to make is thinking the only document they need in their plans is a will. It's true that dying without having executed a will can cause all sorts of problems for heirs and beneficiaries. However, it's typically prudent to include more than just a will in a thorough estate plan.

There are some documents, in fact, that are sometimes needed before an estate owner dies, such as advance medical directives. If a person becomes incapacitated, and has an advance directive in place, one or more other designated people can act on his or her behalf to make financial and/or medical decisions. Procrastination can also backfire big time when it comes to the estate planning process.

People often think they have plenty of time to get around to such tasks. If a sudden event occurs, such as an incapacitating stroke or fatal accident, the time for estate planning will be past. Illinois residents who want to avoid such mistakes can begin compiling documents for their estate plans by requesting meetings with experienced probate and administration attorneys.

Source: Forbes, "7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes- Part 1", Bob Carlson, Feb. 21, 2018

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