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4 huge estate planning mistakes you can avoid

With the right preparation, most estate planning mistakes can easily be avoided. You just need to know what to watch out for in advance. Below are four of the most common mistakes in New York.

1. Doing nothing.

You may be surprised to know how many people don't have an estate plan at all. Even if you think you're too young, it's wise to have one in place.

2. Neglecting to make a disability plan.

Most people think an estate plan is just for what happens after you pass away. However, if you are disabled, an estate plan could also be needed so that your estate can be handled properly while you're still alive—even if you don't have the ability to do the work yourself.

3. Transferring the home incorrectly.

When you transfer your home as part of an inheritance, it can have the smallest financial impact on your child. If you instead just decide to gift the house to your child by putting him or her onto the home's deed, it's looked at as a gift. This means that it can be taxed, and your child could be in trouble without the money to pay off that tax.

4. Picking the wrong executor for your will.

You need someone to be the executor and make sure everything you've written in the will is respected. Be sure you pick a person who is able and willing to do so. Giving the job to someone who may not be good at it—just picking the eldest child, for instance—can lead to a lot of issues when your property has to be split up.

Source: FIndLaw, "Ten Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid," accessed Nov. 13, 2015

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