The number and type of assets that people own today is constantly evolving, which presents significant challenges for people who don’t look at their estate planning that often. Thankfully, an estate planning attorney can help to review your checklist of an inventory of items that go inside your estate. There are some assets that are left outside of your probated estate but should still be updated on a regular basis to reflect your individual needs.
These include retirement accounts, payable-on-death bank accounts, and life insurance policies that name a beneficiary who is eligible to take over if something were to happen to you. Everything that you own must be incorporated in your estate plan along with a provision for its distribution. In addition to this basic guideline for estate planning, you should think about what-if provisions too. Which means that you have thought about what happens if a named beneficiary cannot inherit as you intended for him or her to do so.
Although one option for minimizing the chances of missing something inside your will is to update it whenever you acquire something new. This can be a challenge to keep up with and oversights can still happen, which is why your estate planning attorney might recommend a residuary clause. This ensures that any assets that are not specifically named in the will are passed on to the beneficiaries of your choice.
If you have property that is not included in the will and skip out on the residuary clause, your loved ones could find themselves in the land of probate. Avoiding probate is a common goal of estate planning so talk to an attorney about how this might benefit you.