7 Estate Planning Mistakes That You Must Avoid

December 8, 2021
Alec Borenstein

If you have never put together an estate plan before, you may believe that it is something that you can do on your own. Afterall, isn’t that what LegalZoom is for? In truth, estate planning is extremely intricate. What may work for another person may not work for you which is why it’s always best to work with an experience estate planning attorneys in New Jersey such as the team that you will find at Borenstein, McConnell and Calpin.  

Common Estate Planning Errors That Could End in Disaster

Our estate planning attorneys believe that our clients should have an in-depth understanding of common mistakes they need to avoid during the estate planning in NJ process. Here are some common examples:

1.      Ignoring the need to plan

Estate planning can be a very tough topic to discuss, but it is never too early to create a plan. Every adult should consider that one day, hopefully in the distant future, they will no longer be here to make choices about their assets. Creating an estate plan can help to make things easier on your loved ones left behind and ensure that your assets pass to the beneficiaries that you choose.

2.      Not reviewing your estate plan often enough

Family dynamics change all the time. Perhaps a new child was born and needs to be included in the estate plan. Maybe an executor that you named in your Last Will & Testament is no longer a good fit. Perhaps a beneficiary has passed away. Life is unpredictable; therefore, it is important that your estate plan changes with it.

3.      Neglecting to start the planning process until you are 100% sure of your guardians or executors

Often people wait until they are sure who will be their guardians or executors. Some people wait until their kids are fully grown before planning because they were not sure who would watch them. Done is always better than perfect, and so it’s much better to start the process and put someone in those positions instead of waiting until it’s too late.


4.      Keeping your wishes a secret

When possible, it’s important that you make your family aware of your final wishes. This ensures that your end-of-life care is carried out to your liking. It also prevents family from having to make hard decisions or worse disagreeing on the decisions for you.

5.      Creating a will, but neglecting other estate planning documents
It’s critical to remember that an estate plan is much more than just a Last Will and Testament. A Durable Power of Attorney gives authority to an appointed individual to make financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so whereas a Living Will makes your wishes clear when it comes to any extraordinary measures if your life is in jeopardy. An estate planning attorney will ensure that the proper documents are being utilized to fit your needs.

Related post: 4 Reasons Why You Should Never Create Your Estate Plan Using LegalZoom


6.      Neglecting to name a secondary beneficiary
You should never overlook the importance of naming a successor beneficiary in the unfortunate event that your primary beneficiary is deceased. If this were to occur without a successor beneficiary, it could lead to issues with determining the person who should inherit your entire estate or portions of it.

7.      Leaving your documents in a safe deposit box

Many people think that a safe deposit box is the safest place for estate planning documents, however it is crucial that your documents are accessible. Locking them in a safe deposit box at a bank will leave your family going through probate court just to gain access to the box. The safest place for the original documents is at home where they are readily accessible if you need them.  


Schedule an Appointment Today with our Estate Planning Attorneys in NJ
At Borenstein, McConnell & Calpin, P.C., we make it our goal to become your trusted adviser for your estate planning needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment to ensure your family and your final wishes are taken care of properly.

Testimonial from Millicent, Satisfied Estate Planning Client in New Jersey

Erin Calpin is absolutely wonderful to work with!!! She is extremely knowledgeable, responsive and thorough. I cannot recommend her enough. I am a paralegal and feel very comfortable saying Erin is truly one in a million! There are not many attorneys like Erin.

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About us

Borenstein, McConnell & Calpin, P.C. is a Wills & Estate Planning law firm serving Central and Northern New Jersey, as well as New York City. We strive not only to give you a great client experience, but to become your trusted adviser for life. To reach Alec, please send an email to alec@bmcestateplanning.com.

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Springfield, NJ 07081

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