PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options. Learn More
Open: Menu Lesser Lutrey Pasquesi & Howe, LLP
Call Now to Begin a Consultation
Open: Practice Areas

3 mistakes you shouldn't make in your estate plan

Estate plans are meant to protect you and your assets while setting up instructions for who is going to get what after you pass away. Before you get things set up, you must consider your goals and the options available to make them happen.

As you're working through it all, ensure that you haven't made mistakes that could be damaging to you or your beneficiaries. Even though some of these might seem minor, they can be very costly.

Mistake 1: Adding children as co-owners

You might be tempted to add your children as co-owners of your assets, but this can lead to financial ruin for you if your children ever get into debt. If they don't pay for their debts and creditors file for liens, there is a chance that they will find that the debtor is the co-owner of the assets. They can then seize those assets, which means your hard work was for nothing. One option that you have for this is to use trusts to transfer assets. Using irrevocable trusts can provide protection from your creditors and your heirs' creditors until the assets are transferred after your death.

Mistake 2: Failing to update beneficiaries

You can't just forget about your estate plan once it is created. You have to review it periodically so that you can ensure it still reflects your wishes. Major life changes like divorce, marriage, births and deaths can all necessitate updates to your estate plan. When you check this plan, make sure that you review the payable on death designations on other assets, such as bank, investment and life insurance accounts to verify that they are still accurate.

Mistake 3: Procrastinating on the creation or updates

More than half of Americans don't have a will in place, and only around 36% of parents who have minor children have plans in place for the end of their life. Procrastination when it comes to creating the estate plan is a huge mistake because you might pass away or become incapacitated before you get it done.

Working closely with someone who is familiar with the estate planning process can help to ensure your wishes are accurately relayed. Be sure to check periodically in case you have to modify it due to changes in circumstance. You may experience increased peace when everything is set up.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

How Can I Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


Lesser Lutrey Pasquesi & Howe, LLP
191 E. Deerpath Suite 300
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Phone: 847-295-8800
Fax: 847-295-8886
Lake Forest Law Office Map

Chicago Office
161 N. Clark Street
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 847-295-8800
Fax: 312-523-2001
Chicago Law Office Map

  • Facebook
  • Linked In
  • Twitter