8 estate planning mistakes that can hurt clients

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For clients, estate planning is arguably the least enjoyable part of the financial process. After all, addressing the subject of mortality can be tough.

It’s such an unsavory topic that only 42% of U.S. adults have estate planning documents including a will or a living trust, according to a recent survey from caring.com, a senior care and assisted living information provider. For adults with children under the age of 18 that figure drops to 36%.

But, it’s crucial that financial advisors address the matter with their clients and highlight the importance of having a comprehensive estate plan in place.

“We’re trying to make sure that [our clients] can rest easier in the event that something happens to them prematurely,” says planner Michael Shipley of the Raymond James affiliated firm Wagener-Lee. “They should have plans for these things. We see it as more of a relief to them.”

Once you overcome that first hurdle of opening the discussion with your client, the next step is navigating the complex issues that can arise during the estate-planning process.

Planners Stephanie Sandle, a 16-year industry veteran and managing director at MAI Capital Management and Richard Wagener, 40-year industry veteran and managing partner at Wagener-Lee, discuss what they say are the most common mistakes clients make in the estate planning process.

Scroll through to see the top eight estate planning mistakes clients make.

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