Ronald Fatoullah & Associates - Elder Law

Don't make common mistakes when you create a will

As people age, they might start to think about their passing. One thing that they should do to prepare for this is to create an estate plan so that they can relay their wishes to their loved ones. The plan should include a will, but some mistakes can make it difficult to enforce a will.

When you create a will, think carefully about what you are putting into it. Things that covered under other documents aren't put in a will. For example, you won't include life insurance plans in the will because those are handled according to the beneficiary designation that you set when you bought the policy unless you changed it since then.

You won't include any joint tenancy property. These assets transfer over to the other owner when you pass away. This doesn't change if you put the property in your will, so you should leave it off to avoid any confusion.

Your retirement and bank accounts don't have to be put in the will because these move to the designated beneficiary. On checking and savings accounts, you set up a payable on death designation, so this person receives the account after you pass away.

Some property is held in a trust. You don't include these in the will because the terms of the trust dictate how heirs handle them. When you are placing things in trusts, think carefully about what you want to happen with them because you can set them up with specific conditions.

Seeking the advice of someone familiar with estate planning is a good idea. This gives you the chance to find out what options you have to care for your loved ones when you are gone.

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