Auto Accident Law 101

Auto Accident Law 101

People Often Make These 3 Predictable Estate Planning Mistakes

Everett Cook

Anticipating what might happen in the future is a critical part of the estate planning process. While you can't guess at all the possibilities, an estate planning attorney will at least encourage you to think about the predictable scenarios so you can avoid making key mistakes. Study this list of three common mistakes to protect your right and interests and those of your estate's beneficiaries.

Executor and Successor

Each estate needs an administrator. When you appoint this person, they are commonly called the executor. An executor is responsible for seeing that your will is done to the letter of the governing documents of your estate. Where there is a need for interpretation, the executor must also apply their understanding of your intentions to clarify matters.

The ideal executor is a trusted person who knows and understands you. Appointing the estate planning attorney as the executor is tempting, but many lawyers prefer to avoid the role to quash any semblance of conflicts of interest in drafting and executing documents. Many people choose close family members, friends, or business partners. Ideally, the executor should be someone the beneficiaries know at least a bit and can trust.

Notably, you should also name a successor. This is the next person up to be executor if something goes wrong. For example, the executor is out of the country and can't do the job at the time of the grantor's passing. If no one can fill the executor role, a probate judge will appoint an administrator who will answer to the court.


As your financial and personal circumstances change, you should also implement estate planning changes. Otherwise, the documents could discuss assets that no longer exist or assign things to beneficiaries who have passed. Take time to review your documents with the help of an estate planning attorney and apply updates as necessary to your will and any associated trusts.

Only Using a Will

Plenty of estate planning issues don't have to go through your will. Whenever possible, an estate planning attorney will encourage you to use more direct solutions. For example, you can transfer money to a beneficiary through a payable-upon-death benefit assigned to checking, savings, retirement, investment, and similar accounts. Trusts are also useful tools for directing assets and money to beneficiaries outside of the will.

These alternative solutions can get money to people faster and reduce the probability of disputes in probate. Especially if a beneficiary might need the money right away, such as a surviving spouse with medical issues, consider moving those transfers outside of the will.

For more information, contact an estate planning attorney near you.


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About Me
Auto Accident Law 101

After being involved in a serious auto accident with a drunk driver, I struggled heavily with getting the driver's insurance company to open a claim. When the insurance company started pushing back, I knew I needed to do something. I spent a lot of time digging through the laws surrounding auto accident claims so that I knew what my legal rights were. I even talked with an auto accident attorney. I created this site to teach others about what I learned, including my court experience. I hope it helps you to determine how you should proceed with your auto accident case.