A handy, dandy list of DO NOTS for your estate plan.
Failing to provide your trustee with access to your important passwords, online information, safe deposit access, and keys.
Not consolidating your assets. Leaving multiple banks, credit unions, security companies and IRA providers makes the work much more difficult for your trustee.
Naming co-trustees who simply cannot get along or are so far away from each other that it creates a burden to make decisions.
Giving away specific assets, such as real property, rather than setting forth percentages for your beneficiaries. Values of assets fluctuate and may result in inequity when you die.
Not utilizing the services of an experienced estate planning attorney to make amendments to your testamentary documents. This often results in ineffective or ambiguous amendments that foster litigation and acrimony.
Not transferring all of your intended assets to the Trust. This may cause a probate of the assets. As to the assets that need to be in the Trust, make sure that you transfer by deed or other titling.
Failure to Specify
Not being specific enough about important issues, such as personal property, in your estate plan. Lack of specificity causes ambiguity and increases the likelihood of a fight between your children.
Failure to Make Changes
Failing to make changes to your trust after major changes happen in your life - such as death of a beneficiary, sale or other transfer of an asset of your trust.
Picking the wrong trustee! This is a disaster that cannot be overcome after you are gone.
Different Treatment of Children
Treating your children differently. Giving more to some and less to others will cause acrimony between your children that is difficult to overcome. Unless there are very extreme circumstances, treat all children the same.
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