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Estate plan mistakes can affect transfer of family wealth

The process of creating an estate plan may naturally be unappealing to individuals in Maryland since it forces them to discuss the prospect of death. However, not creating an estate plan may mean that one's assets will not be protected in the event of one's passing. Making mistakes in an estate plan can likewise be detrimental.

One common estate planning mistake is that people try to do it all themselves. While people can write their own wills or create wills or trusts from templates, this can be risky. For instance, a will that is not properly written may cause the heirs of the person who has died to end up paying large amounts in estate taxes as well as other fees. These expenses may be avoided with a will containing the proper language.

Another mistake commonly made in estate planning is that people fail to update their wills or trusts following life events. All life events should ideally prompt people to review their wills, trusts and other estate planning documents. It is also important to appoint a co-trustee if one is interested in setting up a trust. Finally, people going through estate planning would be wise to avoid leaving a trust either unfunded or underfunded.

Estate planning may be confusing and overwhelming both emotionally and financially. Unfortunately, making mistakes may potentially impact the transfer as well as the destiny of a family's wealth. An applied understanding of the law may help people to avoid making major mistakes when creating an estate plan in Maryland.

Source:, "Will you avoid these estate planning mistakes?", Tom Mills and John Mills, Feb. 14, 2016

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