Especially during the holiday season, creating a will or trust may not necessarily be on an estate owner’s long list of things to do. However, estate planning is absolutely critical for protecting a person’s assets long term. This is why it may be beneficial to take this more seriously as the New Year approaches. However, here are a couple of common estate planning faux pas to avoid in Florida and elsewhere.

First, many people opt to create wills, but even with a will, a deceased person’s estate must go through the probate process. Probate is a legal process that can be both time consuming and costly. However, those who create revocable trusts instead of just wills might end up saving significant amounts of money on probate.

In addition, some people make the mistake of trying to put together their own estate plans. For instance, they may use websites to fill out free estate planning documents. The downside of these online forms is that they are generic, so they do not necessarily take into consideration people’s unique financial situations. In addition, they might not consider state-specific requirements and laws for different documents in an estate plan.

A wise move for those who would like to protect their estates in 2019 and beyond is to seek the help of an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help estate owners to develop plans that reflect their wishes as well as their loved ones’ best interests. Through well-thought-out estate planning, loved ones can end up with the assets intended for them when the owner of these assets passes away in Florida.