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Estate planning mistakes to avoid

Many Delaware residents take the time to prepare an estate plan to ensure that the loved ones that they want to have their belongings after they die actually receive them. However, one of the biggest estate planning mistakes is letting the plan remain the same as circumstances change. This can easily leave a child out or give an ex-spouse more than he or she is entitled to.

Another mistake in making wills is when parents do not account for relationship problems between their children. If these individuals did not get along during their lives, it is likely that it will be even worse after their death. If one child receives a greater share of the estate than the others, the child may contest the will. A child may claim that the sibling pressured his or her parents into a higher stake of the estate. This tactic leaves all of the siblings in worse shape as the estate pays many of the legal expenses. Parents can help protect their interests by clearly stating in the trust or will why they have provided a disproportionate amount to one sibling.

Another common estate planning mistake is naming co-trustees. A person may want a spouse and adult child to share in the responsibility of administering a trust. However, if the two individuals disagree, this can create conflict and more legal issues down the line. One challenge to an estate plan is from undue influence. Some caregivers may lean on an aging client in order to get him or her to give part of the estate away in exchange for the caregiver's services.

Those who would like help in preparing an estate plan may choose to contact an attorney who has experience with these matters. Legal counsel can suggest certain documents that may be appropriate for a client's particular financial and family circumstances.

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