With the new year in full swing, many individuals in Illinois may be eager to finally achieve their estate planning goals in 2022. However, if they are not careful, they can make some potentially costly and problematic estate planning mistakes. Here are a couple of tips for avoiding key pitfalls during the estate planning process.
Leaving assets to the grandchildren
Sometimes grandparents wish to make bequests to multiple generations, such as their children and grandchildren. However, it is best for them not to assign any minor beneficiaries percentages of their assets, as judges will likely have to sign off on this, which may delay the estate administration process. Instead, older individuals may want to leave specific monetary amounts to their minor beneficiaries. Alternatively, they can simply limit their bequests to adult grandchildren and children.
Adding an adult child to one’s bank account
An older couple with adult children may want to add one of their children to their bank account if that particular child is helping them to pay their bills, for example. However, although this may seem to be convenient, the account will legally end up becoming the child’s sole property when the parents pass away. This is true even if the couple’s will says otherwise. To avoid this issue, the parents may want to add all their children to the account so that this asset can be distributed fairly among all of them down the road.
How an attorney can help
Figuring out how to create a detailed estate plan can no doubt be overwhelming. This is especially true for any person with a large number of assets or with highly valuable assets. However, an attorney in Illinois can provide an asset owner with the guidance needed to develop a comprehensive, well-thought-out plan that best meets the client’s needs and wishes in the years ahead.