How could estate planning mistakes negatively affect you?

If you have an estate plan, you may feel that you’ve done everything you need to do to have legal and financial protection for the future. In reality, you could still face certain risks, even if you have a plan in place. To avoid these risks, you would be wise to carefully review your existing plans to ensure that certain mistakes do not derail your efforts to plan for your long-term interests. 

Mistakes in an estate plan may seem minor, or they may remain unnoticed completely, until it is time to settle an estate or initiate certain medical directives. Whether you are creating a plan from scratch or want to ensure your plans are sufficient for your current circumstances, it may be helpful to learn more about common estate planning mistakes. This may help you recognize issues and potentially avoid complications that could cost you or your beneficiaries time and money. 

Missteps to avoid 

People are often unaware of certain estate planning mistakes until it is too late. Your desire to protect your own interests and shield your loved ones from certain problems means you want to be as careful and thorough as possible when creating or reviewing plans. Common estate planning mistakes include failure to do the following: 

  • Update plans after important life changes, such as divorce or marriage 
  • Understand the plans in place and what certain documents do 
  • Discuss preferences and plans with loved ones 
  • Consider the tax implications of certain estate planning choices 
  • Update beneficiary designations as necessary 
  • Update asset ownership as necessary 
  • Plan for long-term care or possible disability 
  • Coordinate retirement plans with trusts 

These mistakes could leave your Illinois loved ones in a difficult position as they attempt to initiate the plans you left in place or settle your estate after your passing. Avoiding mistakes and occasionally reviewing plans can prevent significant difficulties in the future. 

Protecting your best interests 

You may benefit from seeking an assessment of your existing estate plans in order to understand if there are certain problems that could lead to complications long-term. Your diligence in creating thoughtful plans can provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your legal and financial interests are secure, as well as those of your loved ones.  


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The Law Office of William C. Wombacher

Local: 309-674-8125
Fax: 309-674-8149

Commerce Bank Building
416 Main Street Suite 700
Peoria, IL 61602
NELF | National Elder Law Foundation
CAP | Council of Advanced Practitioners | NAELA | National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
Illinois State Bar Association
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Rated by | Super Lawyers | William C. Wombacher | 15 Years