Mansfield Patch: A wise man once said, “If you don’t die before retirement chances are pretty good you’ll die sometime afterwards”. And while we all know and understand that death is a sad fact of life, we sometimes put off making decisions that will help our loved ones after we’re gone.
When Steve Jobs died last year, many financial pundits wondered whether his advisors had helped him set up an effective estate plan. Given the fact that Jobs famously resisted the advice of his doctors for several months while he explored other alternatives, some wondered if he might have acted similarly when it came to his estate planning. With a net worth estimated at nearly $7 billion, the stakes were large — his estate could have been hit with nearly $2.5 billion dollars in taxes. Further, Jobs was known as a very private person and it was quite possible that all his affairs could have been played out in detail at the probate courts for all the world to see. It turns out that Jobs plans were intact and it appears this helped his estate avoid many taxes, ensured his privacy and made his intentions clear to his surviving family and friends. And while we might not be able to relate to Steve Jobs at all, the reality is that it would be a major mistake to think that estate planning is just for the rich and famous.
Here are five examples of estate planning mistakes you may be making now:
1. You keep putting it off. If you postpone planning until it is too late, you run the risk that your intended beneficiaries — those you love the most — may not receive what you would want them to receive because of extra administration costs, unnecessary taxes or squabbling among your heirs.
Continue reading 5 estate planning mistakes you don't want to make.