Many Pennsylvania residents know that they need to have an estate plan but, for one reason or another, simply keep putting it off. Unfortunately, many people view estate plans as just another task to complete, but the reality is that estate planning is one task that may be more important than many others. So, do you have the right approach to your estate plan?

If you do, then you likely see estate planning as a highly-important part of your life and legacy. You should spend the time to research estate planning options on your own in order to familiarize yourself with this area of the law, and then seek the right legal counsel to put it all together for your own unique family and financial circumstances. But, even if you are in the right mindset when it comes to estate planning, there are some mistakes that need to be avoided.

First and foremost, many people will have a small handful of people to whom they would like to see their assets distributed. Even if that is the case, it can be crucial to name “backup” or “contingent” beneficiaries. Why? Well, mostly because of the possibility that the primary beneficiary might die, so you don’t want a retirement account or life insurance policy, for instance, to be left without a named beneficiary.

Next, it may also be a good idea to less specific about passing assets to beneficiaries by the use of percentages rather than using set dollar amounts or naming specific items or accounts that are to go to specific individuals. Every person’s situation is different, so be sure to work with an experienced elder law attorney to make sure that your estate plan fits your needs.