There are some estate planning mistakes that are extremely basic errors that no one should ever make. Yet, they are made routinely.
A comprehensive list of these mistakes probably is not possible but recently the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discussed a few of them in "10 Surprising (or Surprisingly Common) Estate Planning Mistakes," including:
· People do not name contingent beneficiaries on life insurance policies or retirement accounts. If the beneficiary predeceases the account holder, the money reverts to the estate and requires probate.
· People like to sell property to a family member for $1 or some other far below the market value amount. This can cause problems with the IRS for the family member, if the sale happens shortly before the seller passes away.
· Some people name specific investments in their wills. If they no longer hold that asset when they pass away, and if it should happen to be worth a lot of money, then that can force the estate to purchase that investment.
· Giving gifts without regards for how they might have an impact on the lives of the recipient.
· Leaving money for minors, without creating a guardianship for it.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (June 5, 2018) "10 Surprising (or Surprisingly Common) Estate Planning Mistakes."