You spend your entire life building up wealth and accumulating personal belongings, which is why it is smart to have a plan for all those personal belongings when you pass away. An estate plan will ensure the things that you built up in this life are given to the right people when you pass away.
Uncommon Tip #1: Plan for Personal Items
First, you need to have a plan for personal items that don't hold a large monetary value, as these are the things that often matter the most to people once you are gone and are looked over the most often in estate planning.
If you have specific items you want people to have, be sure to include that information in the will. For example, if you told your niece that should could have the dining room set that was your grandmother's, put that in your will. If you want your best friend who shares your love of baseball to have your baseball collection, write that down.
The little things matter to people, and although these items may not be worth a lot, they will matter to the people you leave them to.
Uncommon Tip #2: Consolidate Your Accounts Over Time
As you get older, the likelihood of passing on increases, which is why you should work overtime to consolidate your accounts. Reduce the number of checking and savings accounts as you get older.
In addition, just make sure that you have an accurate record of all your financial accounts documented in your estate plan, so when you pass on, your family will have an easier time closing down all of those accounts. Leave information in your estate plan on how to access all of your accounts.
Uncommon Tip #3: Set Up Beneficiaries for Your Accounts
Finally, you need to set up beneficiaries for your accounts. Add beneficiaries to all accounts that you can, such as a life insurance policy, IRA, or 401K. Make sure this information is up-to-date and current. You should check on your beneficiaries every three to five years to make sure everything is still set-up how you want it to be.
When it comes to setting up your estate, be sure to include a plan for who will get personal items that may not have a large monetary value but carry personal meanings. Over time, try to consolidate your accounts and leave information on all your financial accounts in your estate plan. Set up beneficiaries for all accounts you can set them up for and be sure to update and verify the beneficiaries every year. An estate planner can help you with all the big details of taking care of your estate.