Woman going over documents with estate planning attorney

Common Estate Planning Mistakes

By Joshua Berkley

Everyone needs an estate plan. In fact, failing to draft an estate plan can negatively impact your family for years to come. However, when drafting an estate plan, there are several pitfalls to avoid. Therefore, when embarking upon the estate planning process, it is advisable to first consult with an experienced Kentucky estate planning attorney. In this article, we discuss several common estate planning mistakes. 

Mistake #1: Failing to Update Your Estate Plan Regularly

If you already have an estate plan in place, congratulations, you’re ahead of the game! However, estate planning isn’t a one-time endeavor. Rather, proper estate planning requires periodic review and updates. For example, you should consider updating your estate plan following the birth of a child, the purchase of a home, the start of a business, a marriage, a divorce, and any other significant life event. 

Mistake #2: Failing to Plan for Disability and Incapacity 

When most people think of estate planning, the disposition of assets is usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, another important aspect of estate planning is planning for disability and incapacity. Through the estate planning process, you can determine who will make decisions on your behalf should you ever become unable to do so yourself. Although it isn’t pleasant to think about becoming incapacitated or disabled, failing to plan for these events is a huge mistake. 

Mistake #3: Failing to Plan for Nursing Home Care

Like disability and incapacity, considering life in a nursing home is something many people would rather avoid. However, even if you are in great health, you must arrange for your long-term care. No one can predict the future, and by planning for nursing home care, you will help alleviate the burden on your family tremendously. 

Mistake #4: Choosing the Wrong Person to Handle Your Estate

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes you can make during the estate planning process is choosing the wrong person to handle your estate. When choosing a representative for your estate, you must select a person who is not only trustworthy, but also organized, level-headed, and capable of understanding financial issues. Although many people choose a family member to fill this role, you may want to consider choosing someone who is not emotionally invested in the outcome of the estate proceedings, as he or she will be more capable of making objective decisions. 

Mistake #5: Failing to Contact an Experienced Shelby County Estate Planning Attorney 

Finally, the biggest mistake you can make during the estate planning process is failing to obtain legal representation. At Berkley Oliver PLLC, our lawyers provide comprehensive estate planning services to clients in Shelby County, Spencer County, and throughout Central Kentucky. Although estate planning may seem challenging, it doesn’t have to be when you have an experienced estate planning lawyer on your side. Regardless of your estate planning needs, the attorneys at Berkley Oliver are here to help. If you are ready to begin the estate planning process, please contact our office today to arrange a confidential consultation.

About the Author
Josh Berkley is an attorney and owner at Berkley Oliver PLLC who helps individuals implement plans to protect their assets and their loved ones. Josh focuses his practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law.  From assisting young parents in making a plan to provide for their children, to helping senior clients qualify for Medicaid, Josh works with clients to create estate plans and life plans tailored to each person’s specific goals. He also helps clients with a wide variety of important legal documents such Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate Designations, and Living Wills. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Josh here.