Many people in North Carolina may already know that there are many benefits to estate planning. With a comprehensive estate plan, a person can pass on their assets through a will or trust, can select individuals to make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated and can detail what kind of end-of-life care they want. However, does the lack of a will or trust always spell out disaster?
Some people may think they don't need an estate plan. They may think that estate planning is only for the elderly or for the very wealthy. However, neither of these things are true. For example, parents with children under age 18 may want to establish a plan that not only addresses how they want their assets passed on, but also who will be guardian of their child should they both pass away before the child is grown. And, even people of modest means may have opinions as to who should inherit their assets. An estate plan can address these concerns through the execution of a will or trust.
When it comes to drafting an estate plan, it is important to be thorough and explicit. The wrong language could result in a situation where certain people are inheriting (or not inheriting) certain assets that may not be what the deceased actually wanted. Moreover, mistakes made early on in an estate plan could wind up significantly reducing the size of one's estate upon their death. The following are some common pitfalls people in North Carolina will want to avoid when estate planning.