Broker Check

7 Estate Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

September 27, 2023

As trusted financial professionals, we've had the pleasure of assisting many of our clients with their estate needs. We want to remind you of the importance of keeping your estate strategy up to date and being mindful of common mistakes that may have consequences.

Our team often serves as the quarterback for our clients' efforts, coordinating with attorneys and other advisors to help ensure a holistic approach to their estates.

To serve as a helpful reminder to you and your family, we've compiled a list of some common mistakes that are made by people when creating an estate strategy.1,2

Here are 7 of the most frequent estate mistakes we've encountered.

  1. Failing to create a comprehensive estate strategy is one of the most common mistakes. Some never get around to it, while others think estate concerns are only for the wealthy. Without a strategy, your assets may not be distributed according to your wishes. Your heirs may have to make hard decisions at a difficult time for your family.

  2. Not updating estate strategy periodically can result in unintended consequences. An outdated strategy may not reflect your current wishes.

  3. Not considering taxes. Underestimating your potential tax liability can put your heirs in a difficult situation. Keep in mind this letter is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Your tax or legal professional should be able to address questions about your potential estate taxes.

  4. Not taking advantage of charitable giving might mean missed opportunities to support important causes for you and your family.

  5. Failing to account for business succession. If you own a business, consider how it factors into your estate strategy to ensure a smooth transition.

  6. Not communicating with heirs. Estate decisions and intentions can lead to misunderstandings. In extreme circumstances, it may conclude with legal challenges. Your heirs may not be fully prepared to inherit your estate without prior knowledge of your intentions.

  7. Not asking for help with difficult estate decisions. A poorly constructed estate strategy can result in mistakes and missed opportunities. Consider working with professionals who help families to create estate strategies. They may anticipate issues that you could overlook.


Attempting to avoid these common mistakes is an important first step in preparing for your assets to get distributed according to your wishes.

At our next meeting, let's talk about your estate strategy. We may have some material that addresses your initial questions. Also, we can put you in touch with other professionals if you have more specific questions.

We're here to help.

1. NationalLawReview.com, 2023

2. FindLaw.com, April 24, 2023