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Don't make common estate planning mistakes

Creating your estate plan is something that is essential for your peace of mind. When you decide to take the time to get things together, you don't want anything to invalidate the plan. There are some mistakes that are fairly common in estate planning. Here are some tips to help you avoid common mistakes:

First, make sure that you are giving your family as much as possible. There are some instances in which the estate tax is going to kick in. This can eat away a hefty chunk of the estate, so you must try to spend down the value of the estate. Limits exist for how much you can give to a person or entity each year, so make sure you are in compliance with that limit.

Second, name the executor of the estate. You need to have someone who you know is going to comply with your wishes. This person might be someone who is close to you, but think carefully about naming a family member to this position. Your family members might not be up for doing the work of the executor so close to your death.

Third, take the time to update your will. Your estate plan isn't a one-and-done deal. Instead, you need to review the will annually or when you have major life changes. This helps to ensure that it always reflects your current wishes and not what you wanted a decade ago.

As you get the documents together, make sure that you are handling things in compliance with California laws. Estate plans that aren't created in this manner won't be enforceable in court after your death.

Source: FindLaw, "Ten Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid," accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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