estate planning mistakes arkansas

Only one in every three Arkansas residents has an estate plan; out of those who do have a plan, many often make mistakes during the estate planning process. Although common, estate planning mistakes can easily be avoided as long as you know what to look for. If you’re just starting estate planning or are looking for ways to improve your current plan, keep reading to learn more about the most common estate planning mistakes – and how you can avoid making them. 

Mistake: Avoiding Estate Planning

The biggest mistake you can make when estate planning is avoiding it altogether. Many people are overwhelmed at the thought of going over all their assets, while others would rather avoid the topic. However, dying without an estate plan in place can leave your assets in danger. 

How to Avoid: Keep the majority of your assets out of probate by starting estate planning today! It’s never too early to get started, and there are plenty of resources right here on our website that can help you understand the basics. 

Mistake: Beneficiary Blunders

Mistakes with beneficiaries is one of the most common errors in estate planning. Naming minors as beneficiaries in lieu of a trust, conflicting beneficiaries in different documents, and failing to update beneficiaries are just some examples of the types of mistakes that can be made when naming beneficiaries. 

How to Avoid: Carefully review your beneficiary designations across all of your various documents. Remember to update your beneficiaries as needed, and cross-reference your estate planning documents to ensure that there’s no conflict. Your estate plan should clearly state who gets what without any room for confusion.

Mistake: Outdated Documents

Some people think that estate planning is a one-and-done thing. Although you can often tackle the major parts of the process only once, you still should keep your will updated to avoid any issues with the distribution of your assets or interpretation of your plan. 

How to Avoid: Review your estate plan every few years or after major life events. You may need to update beneficiaries or change aspects of your trust if there’s a new member of your family or you get divorced, for example. 

Mistake: Incomplete Estate Plan

A common misconception in estate planning is that a will covers everything. That’s not true, though; a will is just one part of a complete estate plan. Failing to form a comprehensive estate plan might mean that some of your assets aren’t protected, which could result in probate. 

How to Avoid: Go over your plan with an estate planning expert like a lawyer. A skilled estate planning attorney can go over your current documents and help you fill in the gaps. Not only is an attorney familiar with Arkansas estate laws, but they also have experience with forming a wide variety of estate plans.

Whether you already have a plan in place or are ready to get started, an Arkansas estate planning lawyer is a great resource for making a plan that meets all of your needs. Discuss your estate plan with L. Jennings Law during a consultation to see how we can help you avoid estate planning mistakes and preserve your legacy. Contact us now to get started. 

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