If you’ve printed out a basic will, signed it, stored it, and then forgotten about it, this could set your loved ones up for challenges and frustrations if something happens to you. A will is a crucial document for your basic estate planning, but the work doesn’t end there for most people.
Although a will does provide for how many of your assets will be passed along, it does not cover every kind of asset you own. Furthermore, plenty of people leave many aspects out of their will in this modern age, including what happens to the accounts and information they own online.
The truth is that a will does not cover everything. There are some assets, such as a life insurance policy, that will be overridden by company-specific forms you’ve filed. These include all accounts with beneficiary designations. Make sure that you’ve filled out these forms and updated them on an annual basis or after any big life event to make sure that you are protected and that your loved ones are cared ford.
Your will enables you to name a personal representative in the form of an executor, who oversees your property being distributed and assisting you through the probate process. In addition to your life insurance policy, however, certain other assets fall outside of the management of your will. These include your qualified retirement accounts and those items that fall under a transfer-on-death designation.
One common situation when people overlook updating these key forms is after a divorce. It’s likely your plans have changed after getting a divorce, but you need to make sure that your will and other paperwork reflect your new situation.
Ready to talk options? Set up a meeting with an estate planning lawyer today.