Planning for the future and preparing for long-term care is not always an easy process. This is a smart step for California readers of all ages and income levels, yet there are a few common estate planning mistakes that can derail a person’s efforts and cause complications down the road. Of course, one of the most common mistakes that people make regarding their estate plans is to do nothing or assume they do not need one.

Another misstep that can lead to issues in the future is to treat each children exactly the same in an estate plan. California parents often do not want to play favorites, but there are many reasons why it is beneficial and practical to be specific when designating assets in a will. Along the same lines, it is not necessarily always the best choice to establish joint ownership of assets in order to pass them directly to a spouse or children.

People drafting estate plans would be wise to avoid copying the plans of others. Each person’s goals and estates are different; therefore, an estate plan should be custom-tailored to specific objectives, plans for the future, family considerations and much more. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to wills, trusts and other documents.

Estate planning is smart step, but it is prudent to think carefully about the choices made. When drafting this type of document, it can help to think about what is best long term. Proceeding cautiously and carefully can help a person avoid missteps than can cause problems down the road.