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Estate planning mistakes can sink you and your heirs

The estate planning process may not be the same for our Texas readers as those in other parts of the country, due to state laws, but this does not change the fact that most share the goal of protecting their assets while they are alive as well as upon their death.

There are many estate planning mistakes to avoid at all costs, as doing so will go a long way in removing stress for this process. Along with this, when you make all the right decisions now it will allow your heirs to access your assets after your death without being concerned with the probate process, an overabundance of estate tax, and other similar pitfalls.

For those who will do whatever it takes to avoid their estate falling prey to others, such as the IRS, it is important to put the appropriate amount of time into estate planning.

When creating an estate plan, focus on what will happen to your assets upon your death as well as what will happen during your life if you become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions. Failing to plan for both instances could lead to a complex situation for loved ones.

Neglecting to update your beneficiaries is also a common estate planning mistake, especially among those who have gone through a divorce in the past.

All in all, there are many estate planning mistakes that could jump up and bite you. Some common, some not so much. Fortunately, these can often be avoided by creating a detailed plan with the assistance of qualified legal and financial professionals.

Source: CNBC, "The 5 biggest estate-planning blunders" Shelly Schwartz, Apr. 14, 2014

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