The best plans of mice and men don't always work out when it comes to estate plans. This is primarily because the person who creates an estate plan is not always the most skilled at doing it. He or she might not even have any of the requisite training for creating a legally sound and viable will. To avoid a serious problem with your estate plan after you're gone, here are three things you might want to think about:
Don't write it yourself
Even if you are an estate planning lawyer yourself, it could be wise to go to a colleague with will planning expertise to provide you with an objective view on your estate planning situation. However, especially if you don't have any training, try to remember that a do-it-yourself will might not cover all of your bases. An estate planning lawyer will help you create a lawful will that protects your wishes.
Get clear about your possessions and assets
Before you begin drafting a will, write a list of all of your possessions. This list should include personal items that -- even if they don't hold financial value -- could hold tremendous sentimental value for your family members.
Remember that joint property is not under the jurisdiction of your will
If you share any kind of joint property with right of survivorship, the other owner of the property will automatically receive it after you're gone. This can be a good thing for that person to avoid the probate process, but it could be confusing for your heirs if you accidentally bequeath your jointly-owned property to someone else.
There more things to remember when creating a will, but these three tips will get you started on the right track. If you're ready to create your will or estate plan, our law firm is available to help.