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Mistakes easy to make when creating wills

People in New York sometimes avoid the subject of estate planning simply because they consider it to be a morbid subject. However, creating wills or trusts as part of an estate plan is an effective way for people to protect their assets in the event of their deaths. A few tips may help people avoid making mistakes when it comes to developing their estate plans.

First, it is important for people to not only create wills but also sign their wills. In some situations, a person creates a will but forgets to sign it until a few years later when a life-changing event or health scare reminds him or her to do so. If a will is not signed, it cannot be implemented.

Another mistake associated with estate planning has to do with taxes. A person currently will not have to pay a federal estate tax if he or she is passing assets totaling $100,000 to his or her child. However, federal tax laws dealing with estates are constantly changing, and people often do not stay on top of these changes. People also fail to realize that exemption limits of federal laws and state laws differ, with a state potentially having a small estate tax exemption limit compared with the federal limit.

Estate planning ensures that as much of one's property as possible ends up going to one's chosen beneficiaries. Wills and trusts also help to prevent infighting among surviving loved ones following a person's death. It is within the rights of individuals in New York to pursue their best interests and those of their beneficiaries through the estate planning process.

Source: thestreet.com, "Stop Making These Three Terrible Estate Planning Mistakes", Scott Gamm, Aug. 14, 2015

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