Freeman & St. Clair Publish Tip Sheet Identifying Common Mistakes in Estate Planning

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Freeman & St. Clair provides Tucson residents with a tip sheet that identifies the most common mistakes made in estate planning that can have lasting repercussions.

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Estate planning can appear pretty cut and dry, but the difficulty often lies in the details.

Freeman & St. Clair publish a "common mistakes made in estate planning” tip sheet that identifies those issues that are often overlooked or misunderstood by non-professionals. When attempting to handle estate planning without the aid of a legal professional, most will inadvertently include or fail to include information or legalese that can wreak havoc when the plan needs to be implemented.

Common Mistakes Made by Non-Professionals Handling Estate Planning:

1.    Misunderstanding property ownership laws.
2.    Failure to include appropriate tax planning.
3.    Failure to keep up with changes in tax law. (For instance, taxpayers had to consider the effects of the Estate Tax Fiscal Cliff. The 2010 law setting the estate tax rate at 35% for estates under $5 million dollars was set to expire in January 2013. With the onset of 2013, the exemption limit dropped from $5 million to $1 million. A last minute deal was struck to avoid the massive repercussions of the decrease in the cap. This made what was set to expire, now permanent. However, the sunset provision was removed, so another change is possible at the end of the year.
4.    Misunderstanding the difference between probate estate and taxable estate. Probate avoidance does not necessarily go hand in hand with tax avoidance.

Bob St. Clair of Freeman & St. Clair said, “Estate planning can appear pretty cut and dry, but the difficulty often lies in the details. With the appropriate estate planning, grieving families can avoid the additional pain that comes from multiple interpretations of the deceased’s wishes regarding the estate.”

Experts at Freeman & St. Clair recommend obtaining professional services for all estate planning in order to avoid the consequences of the seemingly simple “common” mistakes. Appropriate estate planning is riddled with a number of legal issues that will be addressed by experienced professionals. Complete estate planning will include: wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, property ownership and tax planning.

A lack of complete understanding can lead to familial contention over the interpretation of the estate planning documents, as well as additional financial problems when failed tax planning results in hefty sums due to the government on cash or property passed to heirs.

Freeman & St. Clair provides personal legal representation in Tucson, Arizona. With over 35 years of experience, they are known as the small firm for small businesses. The firm provides a full range of legal services: corporate law, litigation, collections, bankruptcies, personal injuries, estate planning, etc.

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Bob St. Clair
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