In this ThinkAdvisor article, sixteen financial advisors share common issues that come up in estate planning. As ThinkAdvisor notes, “For advisors, estate planning often is a matter of cleanup. Clients may have made estate plans through attorneys or other specialists and then turned to their advisor, perhaps years after the plan was made.”
Mike Hennessy, CFA, CFP®, said that a common mistake he sees in estate planning is that clients overlook tax savings opportunities.
“A common estate planning mistake we see clients make is not taking advantage of the (current) $15,000 annual exclusion amount for charitable gifts,” says Hennessy, founder and CEO of financial advisory firm Harbor Crest Wealth Advisors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “While $15,000 may not seem to matter to an estate that includes large financial accounts and appreciated real estate, the limit is $15,000 per individual per beneficiary. This means a retired couple could gift $30k to each child, $30k to each grandchild, and on down the line.”
Other estate planning mistakes that financial advisors often see include:
- Not updating beneficiary designations
- Putting it off
- Tax “gotchas”
- Probate problems
- Leaving the details to the courts
- Not updating beneficiaries
- Not using a corporate trustee
- Treating heirs differently
- Previous marriage trip-ups
- Conflicts between documents
- Charity complexities
- Misplacing documents
- “I love you” wills
- Tax penalties
- Not looking beyond the documents
Read the full ThinkAdvisor article, “16 Big Estate Planning Mistakes Clients Make: Advisors’ Advice,” here.
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