Despite what you may or may not know, your estate does not only include land properties where skyscrapers can be built and dreamy million-dollar mansions of the filthy rich are located. It also involves the reliable car that takes you to work every day, the hard-earned money that you have in your bank, and your humble house that provides you a comfortable shelter. Failure to acknowledge these can deeply affect your future and may fail to provide a brighter one to those who may need it—such as your spouse and immediate family—when the security of your life is put into question.

Think of estate planning as a safety net that you and your family can rely on should serious legal and health problems arise. You don’t have to figure this out alone and we definitely won’t leave you clueless, so here are estate planning mistakes you can’t afford to make:

Not planning out ahead

In this unpredictable journey that we call life, there’s only one thing that we know of that holds truth—change is inevitable. Sure, the idea of fortune-tellers who can tell your future by reading your palms or spreading out a deck of tarot cards on the table may seem ideal, however, that’s not the case. Whether you’re just fresh out of college or in your late 20’s with a stable job and possibly a longer life ahead, it is for your best interest if you take a moment to contemplate and plan out what you want to happen for your future. You can start by familiarizing yourself with the law to gain basic knowledge about what’s going to happen when problems will arise, or you can pick up the phone and ask for referrals for a reliable estate planning attorney such as those here that you can sit down and talk with about your future plans.

Hiring the wrong estate planning attorney

We might hope that hiring the best estate planning attorney is as easy as looking for a name across the yellow pages and hitting dial, but it’s not. You have to make sure that the background of your prospective estate planning attorney is spotless and that they have the experience in dealing with clients who have the same case as yours. It is also best to take note that you should only hire the one that looks out for your best interest—not their own selfish desires to rip you off. After all, you are entrusting this person with your personal information and putting faith into their abilities to help make sure that all goes well with your living trusts, assets, and inheritances.

To help you with your search for the perfect attorney, you can start by asking him/her questions about what they can do about your personal and legal concerns. If you both see eye to eye, then you may have a great professional relationship ahead with that attorney for the betterment and security of your future.

Failing to secure a will

Intestacy is the state wherein one fails to secure a will before the person’s death. This will ultimately result in the properties of the deceased person being distributed to the spouse or family according to Intestacy laws of the state where the person resides. Real estate properties beyond the state where the person lives will also be dealt with according to the Intestacy laws of the state where the property is located. While this may be a disappointing scenario, this is rather common. Ultimately, this may even result in a feud among the family members with regards to the distribution of the properties. To avoid such troubles, it is best to secure a draft will, no matter how old you are, as this does not only cover your real estate properties, but it also involves your car, assets, and money stored in your bank account.

Denying that you’re not invincible

It is essential that we must acknowledge that we’re not invincible—we’re only humans and we are prone to accidents and even death. Should anything happen to us, we must make sure that the loved ones that we leave behind will be given relief and not more burden. It is also important to take note that situations like these are not exclusive to death only; this is also open to scenarios wherein you are mentally incapable of making any sound decisions, and this is the part where a reliable guardian takes the place of decision-making instead.

In line with this, you can start by asking yourself the basic questions such as, “Who am I going to entrust my assets with?”, “Who will benefit the money in my bank should I die early?”, and “To whom would I leave my kids with should anything happen to me? Who can be the perfect guardian?” By asking yourself these questions, you can begin to plan how you want your future to play out when you are no longer in control nor alive to do so. By also doing this, you can build a more secure ground for your family to stand on when you’re no longer around, allowing you to rest in peace knowing they will be alright.

Life will always be full of surprises and uncertainties, and it will be a great advantage to us and our loved ones to be wise when it comes to our decision making, especially when it concerns the legal security of ourselves and our family. So plan ahead, take control, and avoid these mistakes that you can’t afford to make.

Kiren Manning

Kiren is a estate law writer who enjoys writing about subject in relation to real estate and law. He has written for a few blogs in the past, and enjoys sharing his knowledge with those who enjoy reading. In his spare time he enjoys spending quality time with those he loves.