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Mistakes to Avoid When Estate Planning

December 29, 2022

Estate planning can be complicated, and without a proper plan, carrying out your wishes may not go as planned. Even those who have taken the time to create an estate plan can still be prone to making mistakes. Knowing what pitfalls to avoid will help ensure a successful estate planning process.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when estate planning.

Not Having an Estate Plan in Place

Without a proper plan, your family may be unable to efficiently manage the distribution of assets and liabilities. If you pass away without an estate plan, the state’s laws will take over to decide how your assets are distributed. Furthermore, if you become incapacitated, someone will have to be appointed by the court to act on your behalf.

Consulting with an estate attorney near PA to create your estate plan is the best way to guarantee that your wishes are fulfilled.

Failing to Update Your Estate Plan

It’s essential to review and revise your estate plan every few years. This includes updating it whenever significant changes occur, such as marriage, divorce, the addition of children or grandchildren, or major financial changes.

With Pennsylvania estate planning, making these changes in a timely manner will ensure that your estate plan is up to date and reflects your current wishes, if something should happen.

Not Naming Beneficiaries Carefully

Naming beneficiaries is an integral part of estate planning, as they are the ones who will receive your assets. If you name someone without considering their current circumstances, they may not be in the best position to handle your inheritance. Be sure to name financially responsible beneficiaries who can adequately manage the assets they receive.

For example, if you leave all of your assets to one person or don’t consult with other members of your family, you could be creating a situation where there could be resentment and conflict. Furthermore, complications could arise if you become incapacitated and your estate plan names a minor as a beneficiary.

A minor would not be able to handle the distribution of assets and liabilities, so consulting with an estate attorney near PA to protect the minor’s interests is a must.

Failing to Take Tax Implications into Account

You should always consider taxes when estate planning. Certain assets may have tax implications, and your beneficiaries could be stuck with a hefty tax bill if you don’t plan for them appropriately.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they can avoid taxes on certain assets by transferring them to beneficiaries through a trust, which is why working with estate planning attorneys is so important. They can help you assess various assets, and advise on how to handle them properly in your estate plan to minimize potential tax liability for your beneficiaries.


Estate planning is a necessary process that requires a lot of careful consideration. Avoiding the mistakes discussed above will ensure that you create an up-to-date estate plan that can be carried out promptly and efficiently.

If you’re unsure if you’re making any of these mistakes when estate planning, consider consulting with an experienced estate attorney near PA. Having a professional to guide you through Pennsylvania estate planning guarantees your wishes will be carried out in accordance with state laws.

At Caputo & Mariotti, our estate planning attorneys can assist executors and administrators in managing the estate planning process. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about how we can help you create or update your estate plan.

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