20 most common estate-planning mistakes

It’s often the little things that bring you unstuck and your family into conflict.  To avoid the most common estate planning mistakes, you must first know what they are.

  1. Not keeping your will up to date
  2. Not making adequate provision for dependants
  3. Being ambiguous
  4. Not specifying whether mortgage liabilities are to be discharged or properties are to pass subject to mortgage debts
  5. Not taking tax into account when making provision for beneficiaries
  6. Writing an informal will
  7. Not nominating guardians for minor children
  8. Bequeathing assets not ‘owned’ by you – assets are often jointly owned, or owned by a trust or company and don’t pass through a deceased estate
  9. Assuming your super will bypass your estate and go direct to your dependant
  10. Not taking into account the ownership of your life insurance (self, spouse, super fund) and incorrectly assuming who will receive the insurance proceeds
  11. Using beneficiaries as witnesses
  12. Appointing an executor who is also a beneficiary and has a conflict of interest
  13. Providing inadequate powers to your executors
  14. Not telling people where your will is located – they are often never found, or an old will is thought to be current
  15. Not making provision for the division of the residue of the estate, including gifts that fail
  16. Not documenting and communicating reasons for decisions and opening up the estate to attack
  17. Appointing the wrong person as your Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardian
  18. Assuming trust assets or business assets will form part of your estate when they don’t
  19. Assuming family, friends or business partners will do as you wish without discussing it with them
  20. The biggest mistake of all – having nothing in place at all


Don’t make the same mistakes as others – contact Slater & Gordon today on 1800 555 777.