So you’ve gone through the trouble of creating an estate plan and are now certain that your property will pass to your family in the manner you choose. However, it’s important to realize that while your estate plan may be finished, that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about it. If you don’t regularly review your plan you may inadvertently disinherit your family if you fail to take the proper action. Here are two tips on how to avoid these unintentional disinheritances.
Tip 1: Take survivorship property into account.
When you create a Will, the property you distribute through it does not include everything you own. Some property, such as bank accounts with rights of survivorship, will pass outside the probate process and will not be subject to the terms of your will. If, for example, you leave your spouse half of your estate through your will and you share survivorship accounts with your spouse, you effectively grant your spouse a larger than half portion of your estate.
Tip 2: Have a professional review your plan.
For people who have created their own Will or other estate planning device, it’s important that you have an estate planning lawyer review all the parts of your plan to make sure you didn’t miss anything or make any mistakes. The fact is that unless you are an expert about estate planning laws you won’t be able to be certain your plan meets all the legal requirements. Even though there are any number of websites and self-help products available, you should not rely on these as your sole source of information.
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