Your estate plan outlines your wishes to help provide for your loved ones after you pass away. Taking the time to set it up correctly is important so that your administrators can get your estate handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.
There are a few things that you need to think about when you’re getting your estate plan together. While it’s important for your estate plan to be comprehensive, there are some points you should not include in your will.
Certain financial accounts
Some financial accounts are governed by a Totten trust, which is also known as a payable-on-death (POD) account. This is established when you open the account, and it makes it easier for your chosen beneficiary to access your financial account when you die. If these accounts are in the estate plan, and the beneficiary doesn’t match that on the Totten trust, it can lead to problems.
Assets in trusts
Assets that are named in trusts are distributed according to the terms of the trust. Just like the accounts with a POD designation, having assets in a trust that’s also in the will can lead to problems if the beneficiaries and terms don’t match precisely.
Typically, estate plans aren’t handled until after the funeral of the decedent. Because of this, you shouldn’t include your funeral wishes in the estate plan. Instead, write out a letter of instruction to let your loved ones know exactly what your wishes are. If it’s solely included in your estate plan, it may not be accessible right away.
While estate planning isn’t really anyone’s favorite activity, it’s one that should be taken seriously. Thinking about what you want for your loved ones after you pass away minimize their stress at a difficult time. Having experienced legal guidance is important.