Your estate plan needs to pass on the wishes that you have for your assets and loved ones. It is imperative that you think carefully about what this means so that you can ensure that you have everything in order. There are a few things that you need to make sure that you don’t do.
One type of asset that you can’t include in an estate plan is anything that is held jointly. By law, these items will go to the person with whom you own the property. Putting these into the will is just a waste of energy, and it might cause confusion as your loved ones are trying to divide everything.
You shouldn’t put in any information about your funeral in the will. This information will be needed before the will is read, so it is best to leave it in a secure location as part of the letter of instruction you write out. Make sure that your loved ones know where this is located, so they can get it when you pass away.
Another thing to remember is that you need to plan for your digital assets. The laws aren’t thorough for this area yet, so it might be best to leave your account names and passwords to loved ones, so they can handle those matters. Think about things like your online music, movies and documents. Even your social media accounts should have a plan.
You can’t include anything in the will that already has a designation about who gets it when you pass away. Some examples are life insurance policies, investment accounts, bank accounts and retirement accounts. Those will go to the payable on death designee, so be sure to keep this updated.
Take the time to review your entire estate plan periodically. This enables you to always ensure that your current wishes are being followed.