You probably already know that a last will and testament should play a significant role in your estate plan. Equally important is avoiding common mistakes when creating this essential document. According to AARP, it is easy to overlook certain things during will creation, which can affect the legitimacy of the document.
Your attorney will guide you through the process and ensure you take the proper steps. However, being aware of the following issues is also beneficial.
Not describing belongings in detail
It is common to leave family members important heirlooms within a will. These items might have monetary value, but they are also essential to heirs from a sentimental perspective. When it comes to things like jewelry, figurines, or clothing, make sure you include a detailed description of the item. This will prevent confusion if there are several items that may fall into the same category.
Not updating beneficiary designations
Beneficiary designations contain the name of the person you wish to receive the proceeds from life insurance policies and retirement accounts. You can include information regarding them within your will for clarification, but keep in mind that beneficiary designations supersede your will.
Not naming alternatives
You can name a primary and secondary beneficiary, in the event the first dies before you. You should also name alternate heirs within your will, as well as naming an alternate executor. Without this information, the court will decide who gets what, and their decision might not match yours.
You should also revisit your will to make updates as needed. Perform a review every three years or so, and make changes after a new marriage, divorce, or the birth of a new child.