We are in the business of helping people prepare and plan for the inevitable, so every year we write an article advising our clients about what not to do when it comes to death and disability planning. The mistakes we have seen people make throughout the past 30 years we have been in practice have caused a lot heartache, stress, and money for our clients to correct.
Three years ago, we referenced the following article in our e-newsletter and the feedback we received was very favorable. Our readers really appreciated the valuable information that the article produced, so we have recycled the article published by the law firm Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. titled, "The 6 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes." to remind everyone about the important points the article makes pertaining to estate planning.
We realize that understanding what to do and what not to do when it comes to estate planning can be very confusing to a person who isn't familiar with the probate and trust laws (Side note: That's why you don't hire an attorney who is not a specialist in this area of law).
The article sums up in non-legalize why you need to listen to the advice of your estate planning attorney or suffer serious consequences. Some of the mistakes people make include burying their head in the sand and not planning at all; not funding a trust; incorrectly designating beneficiaries on bank accounts, retirement funds, etc.; and going online for "do-it-yourself" estate planning forms, which is a "doozy" mistake due to the vast differences in each state's laws.
In addition, we recommend that you refresh your General Durable Power of Attorney every five years so that financial institutions will be less likely to reject your POA due to its age. Unfortunately, the State of Ohio does not require that powers of attorney be accepted by anyone.
One "size" does not fit all when it comes to death and disability planning in the United States. For that reason, attorneys are required to be licensed to practice law in each state where they are giving advice, so that is why going to a site that is not state specific is unwise.