In recent years, news headlines have often featured stories of celebrities who died suddenly without leaving a last will and testament. This also happens to everyday people in Missouri. In such cases, a person’s estate becomes intestate, meaning that state law will determine how assets will be distributed, which may or may not align with what the decedent would have wanted. Not executing a will is one of the most common estate planning mistakes people make.
Another mistake to avoid is failing to review and update an existing plan. This can be accomplished every couple of years by asking an experienced estate planning attorney for assistance. An attorney can help customize an estate plan to fit a particular client’s needs and can be on hand to make additions, deletions or updates, as needed, such as when an estate owner wishes to add a beneficiary because of a birth in the family or remove one because of a divorce.
Making assumptions can cause estate planning problems
When people do not take time to gain an understanding of applicable Missouri estate laws or to seek clarification about certain documents, such as powers of attorney, they might make mistakes when executing an estate plan. For example, some people mistakenly believe that only one person can be granted a power of attorney. In fact, an estate owner may designate several people or groups to have a power of attorney for various reasons.
One individual might have a financial power of attorney, while another has a medical power of attorney. In some cases, a general power of attorney is granted, which means the person so designated can typically make decisions regarding any issue for the person granting the power. Mayer Law Office, in Missouri provides strong support in all aspects of estate planning. A consultation can be scheduled by using the contact form on our website.