Common Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid

Contrary to popular belief, estate plans are not just for the rich and famous. The reality is that many people could benefit from having an estate planning in place. Having an estate plan in place will help you maximize the opportunity to make informed decisions on how your assets should be handled while you are still alive.

Below is some of the common estate planning mistakes to avoid.

  1. Not having an estate plan at all.


Surprisingly this is one of the most common mistake that is prevalent in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately death is inevitable and no one can escape death.  However thoughtful planning for what may occur after your death is one of the most important things you can do. There are plenty of things that can go wrong after someone dies. Don’t make matters worse by failing to plan properly.




Most people realize and know that they need an estate plan in place but they take forever to put it in place until it’s too late. To avoid the stress of not having a proper estate plan in place, it would be wise to put an estate plan in place whilst you still can.



  1. Choosing the wrong person to handle your estate.


Sometimes the person you think is the best choice for executor of your estate is not always the case. Hence before choosing an executer you need to do a detailed research and make an informed decision on the person you want to leave in charge of your assets after your demise.



  1. Not updating your will.


There are many changes that can take place within a family or business structure, such as births, deaths, divorces, and new property acquisitions. Therefore, to ensure the assets you leave behind are given to those you intend, it is wise to perform a periodic update of your will when these changes take place.


  1. Not planning for the death of a beneficiary.


If one of my two beneficiaries dies, where does the money go? When estate planning you need to plan for the possibility of the death of a beneficiary(that is what will happen to their inheritance when they die).For example does it go to the other beneficiary or to their child.


  1. Not planning for the unexpected.


There could be a sudden decline in your or your spouse’s health, or there could be a change in your assets. What about the divorce of your kid? Your child’s creditors? Can your heirs handle that much money? There are a multitude of things that you have probably never even thought about.This is commonly addressed by having assets go to a trust where you can control how, to whom and when money gets distributed, unlike an outright inheritance from a will.


  1. Not planning for disability.


An unexpected or long term disability can often have greater consequences on your personal and financial affairs. Decisions such as who will handle your finances, raise your children, or make healthcare decisions on your behalf are extremely important. Therefore it may be necessary to appoint a power of attorney and/or create a living trust to work on your behalf if you’re unable to do for yourself.