There are a lot of ways to go wrong. Avoid these common errors in creating your plan.
- Don’t make co-executors if you can avoid it. Maybe you think by making all your children equally responsible for an estate you are avoiding favoritism. What you are doing is making sure that it’s incredibly difficult for them to get anything done, and making disputes among them about how to handle something even more expensive on the estate. It is best to choose the most responsible person you know – the one you call when you’re on the side of the road and need help – and empower them to get the job done.
- Don’t forget that a will only protects your stuff when you’re dead. A living will and power of attorney protect YOU while you’re alive and that’s very, very important too!
- Don’t put your will in a safety deposit box. Legally, you can and there are mechanisms for an executor to get it out — but it can be incredibly difficult and banks can be real road blocks to getting an estate settled. Best to keep it in a lock box in your home or someplace safe and make sure your executor knows where it is.
- Don’t just print a will off the internet. Sure, I know it’s cheap…but it is not likely customized for your estate and it is not offering you the valuable insight a lawyer can do. It’s worth the money!
- Don’t forget to update it. You do not want your 40 year old children left to the guardianship of Uncle Al in your will. Pull it out every year at tax time and make sure it still reflects your wishes.
If you need help getting your estate plan started, call 856-227-7888 for a free consult today!